Options assessment method

VicGrid developed a rigorous method for assessing potential transmission corridor and technical options, to balance competing priorities and ensure community and stakeholder feedback informed the approach. This decision-making tool is known as the options assessment method (assessment method).

In-mid 2023, we consulted on the draft assessment method, and published the feedback received in our phase 2 engagement summary. This feedback helped us design the final assessment method and balance the relative importance of each factor being considered.

VicGrid’s approach is a big change from the way transmission was planned in the past – where the only considerations during early stages were technical and economic.

Developing a long list

We developed a long list of 12 transmission corridor options by mapping existing land uses, features, values, and areas of sensitivity to identify potential pathways for the new transmission.

We also developed a long list of 8 feasible technical options using technical specialists and industry-specific technical information and planning criteria. The long list includes a variety of different transmission technologies, including overhead and underground options with different electrical currents and voltages.

Developing a short list

We then used the assessment method to undertake a high-level analysis of the long lists of corridor and technical options and identify key points of difference between the options.

This assessment gave us a short list of 5 corridor options and 5 technical options. We then did a more detailed assessment of these short-listed options using the criteria in the assessment method.

These assessments gave us a preferred corridor option and preferred technology.

Identifying a study area

VicGrid has used the preferred corridor option to create a broader study area. This is because assessments so far have been based on available desktop information. Further technical studies, on-the-ground environmental assessments and engagement with landholders, farmers and local communities is now needed to better refine and narrow the study area to a corridor (and then a route).

We will also seek further discussions with the Traditional Owner Corporation, Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), about ways to understand and minimise potential impacts to cultural heritage and values. We will continue working to build a partnership approach with GLaWAC.

Our aim through this further work and engagement is to better understand and improve the project by listening to and learning from landholders and local community members.

Minimising impacts​

The Gippsland study area is in an area that provides opportunities to minimise impacts by exploring alignment with other major infrastructure such as transmission and roads.

Rigorous assessment of environment, visual, heritage, cost and technical factors found that new overhead transmission lines along an area away from major towns is the best balance for keeping household energy bills down while minimising impacts for Gippsland communities.

You can find more information about our decision-making in the Gippsland Options Assessment Report and Transmission types factsheet.

Page last updated: 22/03/24