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The Victorian Transmission Investment Framework establishes a new approach to planning and developing major electricity transmission infrastructure and Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) in Victoria, to ensure that cheaper, more reliable renewable energy can be delivered to homes and businesses across the state.

Victoria is undergoing a once-in-a-generation energy transition.

As Victoria’s ageing and increasingly unreliable coal-fired power stations retire, our electricity system needs to evolve. Investment in large-scale renewable energy generation and storage will help provide reliable and affordable electricity at the scale needed to power Victorian homes and businesses.

New transmission infrastructure is critical to get energy from new areas where it is generated to homes and businesses where it is used.

Victoria's grid is historically the strongest in the Latrobe Valley, where our coal-fired power is mainly based. However, our renewable resources are dispersed across Victoria - from our windy coastlines to our sunny plains.

Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) are areas in our state with the greatest potential for renewable energy, such as wind, sunshine, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat. Developing these clean energy resources at scale and in a coordinated way with the batteries and high-voltage infrastructure required to carry electricity will support the next-generation power grid we are building.

That's why we are working on transmission network upgrades across the state. This will improve and modernise the grid to connect the areas where sun and wind are abundant so more renewables can flow through Victoria. This will deliver a cleaner, cheaper, stronger energy system for all Victorians.

Development of transmission infrastructure brings both challenges and opportunities for some communities.

We are introducing changes to make sure this is done in a timely way that reduces impacts and provides benefits for affected host Traditional Owners, local communities and landowners.

Core elements of Victorian Transmission Investment Framework

The new framework has 5 core elements:

  1. A Victorian transmission planning objective that incorporates environmental objectives and the state’s needs in response to the transition to renewable energy.
  2. A long-term strategic plan for Victorian transmission and renewable energy zone development called the Victorian Transmission Plan (VTP). The first plan will be published in mid-2025 and take a 15-year view of transmission and renewable energy zone development in Victoria. Subsequent plans will take a 25-year view and be published every four years, starting in 2027. The plan will prepare Victoria for possible future scenarios in a way that minimises the risk of both under-investment (not being prepared) and over-investment (building more than is necessary). Importantly, Traditional Owners, local communities, landowners and other regional stakeholders will feed into this planning process early, well before transmission routes are determined.
  3. A new approach to specifying and procuring projects to meet Victoria’s transmission needs, ensuring timely delivery and value for money.
  4. New arrangements (an industry ‘access scheme’) to encourage more renewable energy developers into Victorian REZs by making it easier for new projects to connect to the grid and providing greater certainty that renewable electricity generated can get to homes and businesses where it is used.
  5. Place-based approaches to engagement and benefits for impacted Traditional Owners, local communities and landowners. The focus is on collaborative, long-term approaches to build thriving communities delivered in a defined geographic location.

The new framework has been developed following public consultation in 2022, which demonstrated broad support for change. A summary of the findings can be accessed below.

Legislation to implement the framework

On 2 May 2024, the Victorian Parliament passed amendments to the National Electricity (Victoria) Act 2005 to implement the first stage of the Victorian Transmission Investment Framework (VTIF) reforms. The amendments empower VicGrid to deliver the first Victorian Transmission Plan by 31 July 2025, which will set the long-term strategic vision for the development of the state’s Renewable Energy Zones.

The next stage of VTIF reforms will introduce community benefits initiatives for regions hosting renewable energy and transmission infrastructure. VicGrid strongly values public consultation and is committed to engaging with stakeholders as part of this work.

For more information about development of VicGrid’s Renewable Energy Zone Community Benefits Plan, see Victorian Transmission Investment Framework - REZ Community Benefits | Engage Victoria

Why do we need these reforms?

Circumstances have changed markedly since the current transmission planning framework was first introduced in the 1990s. It was not designed to meet a rapidly evolving energy system.

Community needs to be at the heart of our planning. The current transmission planning process does not adequately consider community views, as well as environmental and land-use issues early in the process.

More information about the final design of the new framework can be found in the following documents, which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. These documents provide an overview of the proposed reforms and next steps, including key engagement opportunities for stakeholders and the timeline for developing the first Victorian Transmission Plan by mid-2025.

Victorian Transmission Investment Framework – Final design paper

Victorian Transmission Investment Framework – Community factsheet

Victorian Transmission Investment Framework – Partnering with Traditional Owners throughout transmission planning and development factsheet

How will the new framework apply to transmission projects currently underway?

Although transmission projects already underway will not be delivered under the new framework, its defining principles will be applied to current projects where possible. In particular, the focus is on strengthening community engagement principles and benefits for transmission projects.

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VicGrid is developing a comprehensive legislative and regulatory reform package to implement the new framework. This involves consultation activities during 2023 and 2024.

VicGrid is also developing the first Victorian Transmission Plan by mid-2025.

Contact Us

Have questions or want to learn more about a project, contact us: vicgrid@deeca.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 26/06/24