Federal Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, welcomes the announcement of a key transmission project to deliver more affordable and reliable energy for Victorians.
Under the agreement, the Commonwealth and Victorian governments will jointly underwrite early works to progress the Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector (VNI) West project – with a preferred route known as KerangLink – so that it can be delivered by 2027.
VNI West will deliver an extra 1,800 megawatts of capacity during peak demand periods, help lower prices and allow Victoria to export 1,930 megawatts to NSW. The project will help maintain system security and reliability, while also allowing more renewable energy to be connected to the grid.
“This project will be a gamechanger for the renewable energy sector in Mallee” Dr Webster said. “We have the potential to be a nation leader in renewable energy generation, and this project will help unlock our region’s potential.”
“Since coming to office, I have been lobbying Minister for Energy Angus Taylor to argue the benefits of KerangLink. Tom O’Reilly, the CEO of Gannawarra Shire, has been at my door repeatedly about this project, and I have spoken in parliament about its importance. I am thrilled that there is now an agreement in place, with Kerang being chosen as the preferred route.”
“The project will open the floodgates for private sector investment in what is known as the Murray River Renewable Energy Zone, an area mapped by the Australian Energy Market Operator that encompasses significant renewable resources.”
The Murray River Group of Councils, which includes Mildura Rural City Council, Swan Hill Rural City Council, Gannawarra Shire Council, Loddon Shire Council, Campaspe Shire Council and Moira Shire Council, has issued planning permits for 23 solar farms with capacity for around 2900 megawatts of generation.
“This agreement will give investors’ confidence to move forward with these and more projects. This will mean enormous growth in the renewable energy sector, with hundreds of jobs for our region.”
Minister Taylor said, “Commonwealth support for VNI West demonstrates our commitment to working with Victoria to deliver outcomes that benefit all Victorians.
“The VNI West project will play a crucial role in ensuring Victorians have access to the affordable and reliable electricity they need to power their lives.
“The Commonwealth Government is now advancing all major priority transmission projects in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2020 Integrated System Plan.
The Morrison Government is continuing to deliver a more affordable and reliable electricity system for Australians through measures that will lower bills, secure our grid and drive investment in new energy infrastructure.”