VicGrid calls for input on state’s renewable energy zones


As part of the first phase of the process, the Victorian government body is undertaking a community survey to inform a state-wide Strategic Land Use Assessment, which will provide the foundation of the planning and development of Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zones (REZs).

This land assessment will be delivered over several stages. The first stage, underway now, is a critical starting point for developing the Victorian Transmission Plan.

It will identify REZ priority areas, which are broad geographical areas across Victoria that are most appropriate to further investigate and plan for the future development of renewable energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure.

These are areas considered suitable for development based on a range of land use, social, environmental, cultural and technical factors. The land assessment will also identify highly sensitive areas where development should be minimised or avoided.

To better understand community views and important land use and landscape values across the state, VicGrid is inviting participation in a REZ Planning Survey and community values mapping tool. VicGrid is asking Victorians, particularly those living in regional and remote rural communities, to share what is important in their community so it can plan Victoria’s REZs effectively.

⁠The VicGrid REZ Planning Survey and an interactive mapping tool will be open to the public through the Engage Victoria website until the end of January 2024. The map will collect information on community values, an important dataset for transmission planning. Paper versions of the survey, with a reply-paid envelope, will also be available.

To support the design and delivery of the REZ Planning Survey and ensure it captures diverse views across the state, VicGrid has partnered with a social research company, Voconiq. Starting in late 2023, Voconiq will seek participants for the VicGrid REZ Planning Survey via phone or in-person.

In 2024, VicGrid will share outcomes of this engagement, and let participants know how it has used their input in assessing land for renewable energy development. There will also be opportunities to provide feedback on draft plans. Over the next two years, VicGrid will narrow down the areas for REZ development.

As areas become more focused, it will come back to local communities to provide more information and to again have your say.

VicGrid chief executive officer Alistair Parker said VicGrid was inviting communities, landholders and Traditional Owners to be part of the planning process right from the start.

“Community, landholders and Traditional Owners need to be at the heart of our planning,” he said. “VicGrid will work with Victorians to understand what is important to you when planning where renewable energy infrastructure should go, and how much development is appropriate within each Renewable Energy Zone.”