FAQs

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link



Why is this infrastructure needed?

The current electricity network in western Victoria is congested and unable to take on all of the proposed renewable energy generated by wind and solar farms. This means renewable energy generators connected to the existing infrastructure, and future renewable generators that could be connected to the network, are not able to operate at full capacity. This critical, state-significant project will provide much needed capacity upgrades to the network, unlocking renewable resources in the region and maximising the productivity of these existing and new energy renewable generation assets, helping to protect consumers from paying more than necessary for their electricity.

Top of page

What are the benefits of the project?

The Western Victoria Transmission Network Project will see major economic investment in western Victoria, creating new jobs, during and after construction.

The project will support the development of future energy resources in western Victoria, creating additional jobs and economic investment in the region.

This project will also support Victoria’s move towards a cleaner energy future.

Top of page

Where will the new power lines and terminal station be located?

The design, route and location of the new infrastructure, including transmission lines, towers and a terminal station, will be determined once community engagement and detailed environmental, heritage and social investigations have been completed.

Your input will be vital. We want to understand what is important to you; this will help us maximise community benefits and minimise potential project impacts.

Top of page

What has happened so far?

In 2017 the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) commenced a Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) to identify the most economical way of addressing limitations in the western Victoria transmission network.

The RIT-T is a regulatory process under the National Electricity Rules that requires AEMO to apply an economic cost-benefit test on new transmission network investment proposed for the National Electricity Market (NEM). It is designed to identify the option that delivers the highest net economic benefits to all those who produce, transport and consume electricity in the NEM, in the long-term interests of Australian energy consumers. The RIT-T process requires AEMO to undertake detailed market modelling and key stakeholder consultation as part of this assessment.

As part of the RIT-T process AEMO undertook stakeholder consultation with government, industry and consumers to identify the preferred transmission investment option to address network limitations in Western Victoria. AEMO’s stakeholder consultation included the opportunity for public submissions and participation in deep-dive industry forums at key stages of the RIT-T process.

For more information on the RIT-T visit aemo.com.au/initiatives/major-programs/western-victorian-regulatory-investment-test-for-transmission/

Top of page

Who is delivering the project?

AusNet Services and its commercial division, Mondo, will build, own, operate and maintain the new infrastructure and minor upgrade works required for the project. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) selected AusNet Services to deliver the project following a competitive tender process.

AusNet Services is the largest energy network business in Victoria, owning and operating three regulated networks - electricity distribution, gas distribution and the state-wide electricity transmission network, including the existing Western Victoria transmission network. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, AusNet Services employs around 1,900 people to service 1.4 million consumers. For more information visit AusNet Services’ website, ausnetservices.com.au.

Mondo is AusNet Services’ commercial business, responsible for enabling Australia’s energy future through the provision of a range of infrastructure, utility and community energy services. For more information visit Mondo’s website, mondo.com.au.

Top of page

Who is the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)?

AEMO is responsible for operating Australia’s largest gas and electricity markets and power systems. These include the National Electricity Market and interconnected power system in Australia’s eastern and south-eastern seaboard and the Wholesale Electricity Market and power system in Western Australia.

AEMO also operates the Victorian Declared Wholesale Gas Market and the Victorian gas transmission system; the wholesale gas Short Term Trading Market hubs in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane; the Wallumbilla Gas Supply Hub in Queensland; and the Moomba Gas Supply Hub in South Australia.

As Australia’s independent energy markets and power systems operator, AEMO provides critical planning, forecasting and modelling, and power systems security advice and services, helping to ensure Australians have access to affordable, secure and reliable energy. Further information is available at aemo.com.au

Top of page

Why can’t existing infrastructure be used/upgraded to deliver the required transmission capacity?

In recent decades, Victoria’s power system has changed significantly with the introduction of renewable energy and the retiring of some coal generators in the Latrobe Valley. The arrival of new energy resources in our energy mix has led to new generation hubs in locations outside the traditional generation hubs.

Western Victoria has become an attractive location for new renewable generation projects due to the availability of renewable energy resources. Existing transmission infrastructure in western Victoria is inadequate and unable to accommodate this increased generation, resulting in a constrained network.

The Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) process undertaken by Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to address network limitations in western Victoria identified a preferred investment option. This option requires the construction of new infrastructure between Bulgana and Sydenham to deliver the most efficient means of increasing transmission capacity in western Victoria to meet the long-term energy needs of consumers.

Top of page

What new infrastructure is being proposed as part of this project and how big will it be?

The project will include approximately 190km of new transmission line between Bulgana and Sydenham, a new terminal station to the north of Ballarat and several minor electricity infrastructure upgrades across western Victoria. The new infrastructure to be built as part of the project will include:

  • A new terminal station to the north of Ballarat with two new 1,000MVA 500/220kV transformers
  • A new 220kV double circuit transmission line from the Bulgana Terminal Station to the new terminal station, via the Waubra Terminal Station
  • A new 500kV double circuit transmission line from the Sydenham Terminal Station to the new terminal station
  • Upgrades to existing transmission infrastructure.

The typical size of a 220kV transmission tower is approximately 55m high and 12m wide. The typical size of a 500kV transmission tower is approximately 72m high and 16m wide.

Top of page

What is an easement?

AusNet Services owns and operates the majority of the electricity transmission system in Victoria. Our network of transmission towers and terminal stations support around 6,500 kilometres of conductors (the wires). The corridors of land on which this network is built are referred to as transmission line easements.

An easement is a right to access, occupy and use part of the land owned by another person for a particular purpose. For example, the construction and operation of a transmission line. Easements are usually subject to any conditions negotiated between the grantor and grantee of the easement, and are registered on the title to the land affected, creating a public record of the existence of the interest in the land.

An easement is generally considered the best possible form of land tenure available to accommodate a transmission line and obtaining easements for the construction and operation of transmission lines is standard practice in Victoria.

Top of page

What is the status and relevance of the AusNet Services 'A guide to living with transmission line easements'?

Landholders that have an existing AusNet Services transmission line easement on their property should refer to A guide on living with transmission line easements, available on the AusNet Services website. Please note that this guide applies to existing transmission line easements only.

If you are a landholder with an existing transmission line easement on your property and have questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact our customer services team on 1300 360 795 (8am – 5pm Monday to Friday) or email customersupport@ausnetservices.com.au.

In regard to the Western Victoria Transmission Network project, AusNet Services is currently developing a specific transmission line easement guideline and fact sheet that will apply to the proposed new transmission line for that project.

The new guideline is being developed in consultation with key stakeholders including landholders, relevant industry groups, local Councils, Energy Safe Victoria and the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner. The consultations are to ensure that the new guideline can accommodate the needs of all stakeholders wherever possible, while ensuring a safe living and working environment is maintained.

AusNet Services intends to finalise the new guideline and fact sheet, following stakeholder consultations, in the second half of 2021. If you have a suggestion or concern to be addressed in this new guideline, please contact the WVTNP project team 9021 0674 (message service activated) or email info@westvictnp.com.au

Top of page



Why is this infrastructure needed?

The current electricity network in western Victoria is congested and unable to take on all of the proposed renewable energy generated by wind and solar farms. This means renewable energy generators connected to the existing infrastructure, and future renewable generators that could be connected to the network, are not able to operate at full capacity. This critical, state-significant project will provide much needed capacity upgrades to the network, unlocking renewable resources in the region and maximising the productivity of these existing and new energy renewable generation assets, helping to protect consumers from paying more than necessary for their electricity.

Top of page

What are the benefits of the project?

The Western Victoria Transmission Network Project will see major economic investment in western Victoria, creating new jobs, during and after construction.

The project will support the development of future energy resources in western Victoria, creating additional jobs and economic investment in the region.

This project will also support Victoria’s move towards a cleaner energy future.

Top of page

Where will the new power lines and terminal station be located?

The design, route and location of the new infrastructure, including transmission lines, towers and a terminal station, will be determined once community engagement and detailed environmental, heritage and social investigations have been completed.

Your input will be vital. We want to understand what is important to you; this will help us maximise community benefits and minimise potential project impacts.

Top of page

What has happened so far?

In 2017 the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) commenced a Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) to identify the most economical way of addressing limitations in the western Victoria transmission network.

The RIT-T is a regulatory process under the National Electricity Rules that requires AEMO to apply an economic cost-benefit test on new transmission network investment proposed for the National Electricity Market (NEM). It is designed to identify the option that delivers the highest net economic benefits to all those who produce, transport and consume electricity in the NEM, in the long-term interests of Australian energy consumers. The RIT-T process requires AEMO to undertake detailed market modelling and key stakeholder consultation as part of this assessment.

As part of the RIT-T process AEMO undertook stakeholder consultation with government, industry and consumers to identify the preferred transmission investment option to address network limitations in Western Victoria. AEMO’s stakeholder consultation included the opportunity for public submissions and participation in deep-dive industry forums at key stages of the RIT-T process.

For more information on the RIT-T visit aemo.com.au/initiatives/major-programs/western-victorian-regulatory-investment-test-for-transmission/

Top of page

Who is delivering the project?

AusNet Services and its commercial division, Mondo, will build, own, operate and maintain the new infrastructure and minor upgrade works required for the project. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) selected AusNet Services to deliver the project following a competitive tender process.

AusNet Services is the largest energy network business in Victoria, owning and operating three regulated networks - electricity distribution, gas distribution and the state-wide electricity transmission network, including the existing Western Victoria transmission network. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, AusNet Services employs around 1,900 people to service 1.4 million consumers. For more information visit AusNet Services’ website, ausnetservices.com.au.

Mondo is AusNet Services’ commercial business, responsible for enabling Australia’s energy future through the provision of a range of infrastructure, utility and community energy services. For more information visit Mondo’s website, mondo.com.au.

Top of page

Who is the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)?

AEMO is responsible for operating Australia’s largest gas and electricity markets and power systems. These include the National Electricity Market and interconnected power system in Australia’s eastern and south-eastern seaboard and the Wholesale Electricity Market and power system in Western Australia.

AEMO also operates the Victorian Declared Wholesale Gas Market and the Victorian gas transmission system; the wholesale gas Short Term Trading Market hubs in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane; the Wallumbilla Gas Supply Hub in Queensland; and the Moomba Gas Supply Hub in South Australia.

As Australia’s independent energy markets and power systems operator, AEMO provides critical planning, forecasting and modelling, and power systems security advice and services, helping to ensure Australians have access to affordable, secure and reliable energy. Further information is available at aemo.com.au

Top of page

Why can’t existing infrastructure be used/upgraded to deliver the required transmission capacity?

In recent decades, Victoria’s power system has changed significantly with the introduction of renewable energy and the retiring of some coal generators in the Latrobe Valley. The arrival of new energy resources in our energy mix has led to new generation hubs in locations outside the traditional generation hubs.

Western Victoria has become an attractive location for new renewable generation projects due to the availability of renewable energy resources. Existing transmission infrastructure in western Victoria is inadequate and unable to accommodate this increased generation, resulting in a constrained network.

The Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) process undertaken by Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to address network limitations in western Victoria identified a preferred investment option. This option requires the construction of new infrastructure between Bulgana and Sydenham to deliver the most efficient means of increasing transmission capacity in western Victoria to meet the long-term energy needs of consumers.

Top of page

What new infrastructure is being proposed as part of this project and how big will it be?

The project will include approximately 190km of new transmission line between Bulgana and Sydenham, a new terminal station to the north of Ballarat and several minor electricity infrastructure upgrades across western Victoria. The new infrastructure to be built as part of the project will include:

  • A new terminal station to the north of Ballarat with two new 1,000MVA 500/220kV transformers
  • A new 220kV double circuit transmission line from the Bulgana Terminal Station to the new terminal station, via the Waubra Terminal Station
  • A new 500kV double circuit transmission line from the Sydenham Terminal Station to the new terminal station
  • Upgrades to existing transmission infrastructure.

The typical size of a 220kV transmission tower is approximately 55m high and 12m wide. The typical size of a 500kV transmission tower is approximately 72m high and 16m wide.

Top of page

What is an easement?

AusNet Services owns and operates the majority of the electricity transmission system in Victoria. Our network of transmission towers and terminal stations support around 6,500 kilometres of conductors (the wires). The corridors of land on which this network is built are referred to as transmission line easements.

An easement is a right to access, occupy and use part of the land owned by another person for a particular purpose. For example, the construction and operation of a transmission line. Easements are usually subject to any conditions negotiated between the grantor and grantee of the easement, and are registered on the title to the land affected, creating a public record of the existence of the interest in the land.

An easement is generally considered the best possible form of land tenure available to accommodate a transmission line and obtaining easements for the construction and operation of transmission lines is standard practice in Victoria.

Top of page

What is the status and relevance of the AusNet Services 'A guide to living with transmission line easements'?

Landholders that have an existing AusNet Services transmission line easement on their property should refer to A guide on living with transmission line easements, available on the AusNet Services website. Please note that this guide applies to existing transmission line easements only.

If you are a landholder with an existing transmission line easement on your property and have questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact our customer services team on 1300 360 795 (8am – 5pm Monday to Friday) or email customersupport@ausnetservices.com.au.

In regard to the Western Victoria Transmission Network project, AusNet Services is currently developing a specific transmission line easement guideline and fact sheet that will apply to the proposed new transmission line for that project.

The new guideline is being developed in consultation with key stakeholders including landholders, relevant industry groups, local Councils, Energy Safe Victoria and the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner. The consultations are to ensure that the new guideline can accommodate the needs of all stakeholders wherever possible, while ensuring a safe living and working environment is maintained.

AusNet Services intends to finalise the new guideline and fact sheet, following stakeholder consultations, in the second half of 2021. If you have a suggestion or concern to be addressed in this new guideline, please contact the WVTNP project team 9021 0674 (message service activated) or email info@westvictnp.com.au

Top of page