‘Renewables superhighway’ to link Australian states


From pv magazine Australia

The Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector (VNI) West project will allow more renewable energy to connect to the Australian grid, alleviating congestion while increasing system security and reliability.

The VNI West will deliver an extra 1,800 MW of capacity during peak demand periods. That will allow Victoria to export 1930 MW to New South Wales (NSW). They aim to get the first stage of the project – including the development of a preferred route for the interconnector, known as KerangLink – up and running by 2027.

The project has garnered support in part because the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) curtailed the output of five large solar farms in the Murray River region last year, in reaction to voltage fluctuations in the Victorian and NSW networks. Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the agreement is a major win for Victoria.

“KerangLink will be a renewable energy superhighway, creating a wave of new jobs right across the state,” she said. “This project will unlock more wind and solar power in Victoria than ever before, and is crucial action to address climate change:”

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Earlier this month, AEMO outlined a new strategy to shore up Victoria’s electricity transmission network and system security as the state accelerates towards its legislated target of 50% renewables by 2030. This VNI West transmission link is expected to play a key role in bringing those plans to fruition.

The project is also expected to support approximately 2,000 direct jobs during construction. Federal Minister for Energy Angus Taylor is confident that in addition to the jobs, the transmission line will put downward pressure on electricity prices and shore up the reliability of the grid.

“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,” Taylor said. “The Commonwealth Government is now advancing all major priority transmission projects in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2020 Integrated System Plan.”

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