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Our transition to renewable energy is supported by strong renewable energy and storage targets, creating significant opportunities for investors, industry and developers.
The Victorian Government is delivering a number of key initiatives to develop Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) and build a next-generation power grid to connect world-class renewable energy resources across our state.
Supporting investment in Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zones
Victoria’s energy sector is rapidly transforming as we move to low-emission, renewable energy sources to achieve our 2045 net-zero emissions goal. Our legislated renewable energy targets will assist in providing investment certainty to attract new energy projects, technologies and companies to the state.
Businesses and industry will play a key role in providing the investment and technology we need to transition.
A key part of VicGrid’s role is helping to enable investment in renewable energy generation that will secure Victoria’s energy future.
Ensuring the coordinated and strategic development of transmission infrastructure, addressing capacity constraints and ensuring reliable access to the network are all key areas of focus to attract investment in renewables.
VicGrid is working to attract investment in a number of different ways:
- We are investing in addressing known capacity constraints in the network, with $480 million invested to date through our Stage One projects.
- We are developing new access arrangements under the Victorian Transmission Investment Framework to provide investors with the certainty that they will be able to get their energy to market.
- We are coordinating the development of shared transmission solutions to support Australia’s first offshore wind developments off Gippsland and Portland.
Potential investors in energy generation and infrastructure can get more information about investing in Victoria from DEECA’s Business and Industry Engagement team.
Transmission access arrangements for offshore wind in Victoria
New access arrangements are critical to successfully developing future renewable energy generation in Victoria.
New access arrangements will apply in Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zones, either through the implementation of national access reforms or, if the national process is delayed, a bespoke access regime under the new Victorian Transmission Investment Framework (VTIF).
More information on the approach to new access arrangements to apply in Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zones is provided in the VTIF final design paper.
Access arrangements for offshore wind development in Victoria will be aligned with Victoria’s new access arrangements. VicGrid will ensure that the access arrangements at least support Victoria’s offshore wind targets:
- at least 2 gigawatts (GW) of offshore generation capacity by 2032
- 4 GW by 2035
- 9 GW by 2040.
Updates on Victorian access arrangements, including for offshore wind, will be provided in early 2024, following the expected timing for decisions on the national access reforms.
Expectations of current offshore wind project developers
VicGrid will be the sole developer of the new shared transmission network infrastructure in Gippsland and Portland.
It is expected that current developers will:
- Cease any external activities on the development of connection points for offshore wind generation and infrastructure to connect such points to the current shared transmission network.
- Developers who have undertaken technical studies and/or engaged with local communities (including landholders), Traditional Owners and stakeholders are required to remove information about potentially overlapping transmission lines from the scope of their engagement activities.
- Developers can continue to engage on transmission developments for assessing their offshore wind farms and cables to the potential future location of the VicGrid nominated coordinated connection point(s).
- Work with VicGrid to transition engagement responsibility for the new shared transmission infrastructure to VicGrid.
- Continue to undertake offshore project development activities.
As outlined in Implementation Statement 2, only generators using the VicGrid-developed connection points will have access to the Victorian Government’s offshore wind generation support package.
VicGrid and AEMO will run a competitive process to procure the necessary transmission infrastructure, with further information on the formal procurement process to be released in 2024.
It is expected that eligible entities aligned with the Victorian Government’s vision for coordinated transmission development in Portland and Gippsland will be invited to participate in this process.
Guidance for offshore wind project developers
Who will VicGrid be engaging with?
Stakeholders that VicGrid will engage with include
- landholders and neighbours
- agricultural groups and farms
- local communities
- local councils and other regional stakeholders and industries in and around the Gippsland and Portland areas of interest
- environmental groups
- businesses and tourism
- Australian Government departments
- energy market bodies and industry stakeholders (including offshore wind and transmission developers).
VicGrid will seek to establish a partnership approach with Traditional Owner groups.
How long will VicGrid be leading engagement?
VicGrid will undertake comprehensive community, Traditional Owner, and stakeholder engagement on the coordinated transmission solution until late 2023 – early 2024, which is when the business case on connection points and high-level route corridors for the new shared transmission infrastructure is expected to be finalised and approved by the Victorian Government.
After business case approval, VicGrid will continue to play a key role with both AEMO and the successful project developer.
What is the process for engagement after the business case has been approved?
Once the business case is approved, VicGrid and AEMO will run a competitive process to procure the necessary transmission infrastructure.
Once the preferred tenderer is selected, they will be responsible for engagement, with VicGrid jointly accountable for the engagement throughout the project lifecycle.
Page last updated: 17/11/23