Network operator Transgrid has entered into a $75 million underwriting agreement with the Commonwealth Government for the construction of the Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector West (VNI West).
While the proposed VNI West is still in the early regulatory assessment stage, having not yet been validated, committed nor approved, it was identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as an actionable project in its Integrated System Plan (ISP). This is because the project would boost energy supply and sharing between Australia’s two most populous and energy congested states.
Moreover, with a spate more coal-fired power plants set to retire over the course of the decade, Transgrid’s 2021 Transmission Annual Planning Report and AEMO’s Victorian Annual Planning Report both identified the need for additional interconnection to maintain reliable electricity supply.
According to Transgrid CEO Brett Redman, formerly of AGL, said “the new 500kV interconnector would improve supply reliability and increase customer access to cheaper, cleaner electricity from generators like Snowy 2.0, as energy storage becomes critical to support growing renewables.”
“Transgrid will link South Australia with New South Wales and Victoria with the new interconnector EnergyConnect and delivering the ISP vision to reinforce the backbone of the east coast’s transmission network with another major transmission project HumeLink” continued Redman.
“Together, our major projects will transform the grid by enabling a significant increase in the amount of renewable energy that can be delivered to consumers across the National Electricity Market.”
“By delivering a reliable transition to renewables, we will help drive down customer bills and help reduce carbon emissions for a cheaper, more reliable and sustainable clean energy future.”
The regulatory assessment stage for VNI West is expected to conclude in early 2023.
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