Proposed new high capacity 500 kV double-circuit overhead transmission line between Victoria and New South Wales, running from Dinawan NSW via a new substation near Kerang to a terminal station connecting into the Western Renewables Link.
In the planning stage by AEMO Victoria Planning (AVP) and Transgrid.
In February 2023, the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources made a Ministerial Order on VNI West and the Western Renewables Link (WRL).
This enabled AVP to conduct an additional assessment on alternate VNI West options, including the connection point into WRL, which could minimise delivery and timing risks to enable acceleration.
AVP’s additional assessment was supported by a six-week consultation with Traditional Owners, local community, regional and industry stakeholders. This helped build project understanding and gather important social, heritage, environmental and economic feedback to inform the preferred option.
As a result of the additional assessment, AVP recommended Option 5A to the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources. Option 5A connects from the WRL via a new terminal station at Bulgana and runs to a terminal station near Kerang before crossing the Murray River into NSW north of Kerang. Option 5A would relocate the proposed WRL terminal station at Mount Prospect (north of Ballarat) to Bulgana and uprate the voltage of WRL from 220 kilovolts (kV) to 500kV from north of Ballarat to Bulgana (WRL Uprate)
In May 2023, the Minister accepted AVP’s recommendation of Option 5A and made a second Ministerial Order confirming this option. The Order also enables AVP to progress investigative activities for the WRL Uprate through the current WRL Environment Effects Statement (EES) and to commence activities to procure the WRL Uprate.
Visit AEMO’s website to learn more and read the VNI West Project Assessment Conclusions Report.
Planning and environmental approvals are yet to commence.
Allows for approximately 3.4 GW of additional renewable generation to be built across the solar-rich Murray River Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) and wind-rich Western Victoria REZ.
Connects Victoria to electricity supply and storage in NSW ensuring reliable electricity access during high demand periods.
Enables export capacity to other States, particularly for offshore wind.