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GNET welcomes $370m investment recommendation for Western Victoria

19th July 2019

G NET LogoGrampians New Energy Taskforce (GNET) welcomes the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) and is certain the strategic investment into Western Victoria’s transmission network will deliver significant economic and social benefits to the Grampians region and bringing it a step closer to achieving zero emissions.
The report released today is the third and final step in the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) process. It provides recommendations for minor and major upgrades of the Western Victorian transmission network that will ensure future power-system capabilities and expand the diversity and availability of supply to the market, reducing the cost of power for consumers.
GNET Chairman Stuart Benjamin recognises that this is a great moment for renewables in the region and an investment into Western Victoria’s transmission network will go a long way toward helping develop a zero-carbon economy.
“A $370 million investment to strengthen the transmission network across Western Victoria to build a network that supports current and new energy developments is incredibly exciting for GNET.
“Adequate transmission capacity is critical to deliver benefits for both energy producers and consumers now and into the future.
AEMO short and long-term recommendations ensure that more green power can enter the network and electricity costs can be reduced.
“Western Victoria is already a hub for renewable energy developments and the state needs a network that can handle current and new large-scale wind and solar developments that are planned for the area in the coming years,” said Mr Benjamin.
This report provides the greenlight required for a statewide infrastructure program to begin. AEMO is undertaking a competitive process to appoint a successful tenderer to design, build, own and operate the new infrastructure.
“GNET looks forward to working with the approved tenderer and AEMO to help facilitate this important piece of state infrastructure and ensure the needs of industry and the community are met,” said Mr Benjamin.
Committee for Ballarat is working in partnership with the GNeT on developing a Regional Roadmap to Zero and CEO Mr Michael Poulton can see the regional benefits that will result from this transmission network upgrade.
“These investment recommendations in AEMO’s report will directly and positively impact the Grampians, Central Highlands and Wimmera regions, and result in long-term economic, social and environmental benefits.
“The flow-on effects of a project of this size will be in employment, economic growth and training and development opportunities, these are real benefits that will be felt across our communities for years to come,” said Mr Poulton.

Grampians: Decarbonising Victoria

4th July 2019

The Grampians region of Western Victoria is developing a Roadmap to Zero Emissions (R2Z) for supercharging the renewable energy system in Australia. The project will underpin new jobs and the decarbonising of Victoria.
The Grampians New Energy Taskforce (GNeT) has commissioned the Victorian based and nationally recognised think tank group; Beyond Zero Emissions to develop Australia’s first regionally focused ‘Roadmap to Zero Emissions’ (R2Z). The R2Z will envision and guide the decarbonising of the complete Grampians region, which includes Ballarat, Central Highlands and Wimmera Southern Mallee.
GNeT have been working with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AENO) who have now recognised the Grampians region as one of Australia’s key renewable energy zones. AEMO anticipates that 5,000 MW of wind and solar renewable energy could be supplied to the national electricity grid from this part of Western Victoria by 2025.
GNet Chair Mr Stuart Benjamin says that while there are currently over $3 billion worth of wind and solar construction projects in planning or under construction in the Grampians region, creating over 2,000 construction jobs that are secure for the next three years, what next.
“What happens next, what else can we do to not only be 100% renewable but also a leading zero-carbon region in the future?
How can we leverage long-term regional benefit and new jobs by supporting the transition of the grid to a renewable energy system?
“The R2Z will help us think further ahead and explore how we can develop a zero-carbon economy to benefit our region while supporting all Victorians to reduce carbon emissions,” said Mr Benjamin.
Beyond Zero Emission plans to deliver a ‘For Discussion’ version of the R2Z or Grampians Roadmap to Zero Emissions for comment and consideration by late August 2019.
The Roadmap will assist Western Victorians to understand and influence renewable energy options as well as contribute to, and benefit from, an improved energy system and a more secure zero-carbon environmental future for all Victorians.
GNet is inviting Western Victorians to contribute their ideas, concerns and comments to the Roadmap via an online portal - https://engage.vic.gov.au/regional-renewable-energy-roadmaps/grampians-r2z
Committee for Ballarat in partnership with the GNeT is managing the Roadmap development by Beyond Zero Emissions. The project is being funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning largely via the Victorian Government’s New Energy Job Fund.
Committee for Ballarat’s CEO Mr Michael Poulton says the Roadmap is an exciting opportunity to support a localised vision of a zero emissions and Committee for Ballarat is delighted to be supporting Grampians New Energy Taskforce.
“The work of the Taskforce is both unique and crucial in helping to shape the environment in which we live and work,” said Mr Poulton.