The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Energy projects in the pipeline


The State Government has earmarked the Wimmera-mallee as a priority region for at least one of six renewable-energy projects as part of a $540-million plan.

The government announced it was looking for contractor­s for six major ‘stage one’ energy projects across regional Victoria that it initially identified in a Renewable Energy Zones Implementa­tion Paper earlier this year.

A government spokespers­on said the State Government commission­ed the Australian Energy Market Operator, AEMO, to seek tenders for the projects, which would modernise Victoria’s electricit­y grid and unlock new renewable-energy investment.

The spokespers­on confirmed western Victoria would be a location for at least one of the projects.

“There are six Renewable Energy Zones in Victoria and one in western Victoria. The Western Victorian Renewable Energy Zone, which Horsham is part of, would definitely be in the running for at least one of these projects,” they said.

“AEMO has put this out to tender, with costs and locations yet to be confirmed for the projects. We want to make sure western Victoria is part of this to get the renewable-energy sector up and running.”

The six projects include three pieces of infrastruc­ture that will work like ‘shock absorbers’ to smooth out higher and lower rates of energy flow through the electricit­y lines, making it easier for renewable energy to enter the grid.

There are also three projects that will upgrade the transmissi­on network, to increase the capacity of existing lines, so they can carry higher energy loads, pumping more renewables across Victoria.

Other REZ regions include Ovens Murray, V1, Murray River, V2, Western Victoria, V3, South West, V4, Gippsland, V5 and Central North, V6.

Stage-one projects identified in government planning included a system-stabilisin­g synchronou­s condenser at Horsham and an increase to a Western Victorian Transmissi­on Network Project from North Ballarat to Bulgana to carry 500 kilovolts of power instead of 220kv.

Multi-million-dollar follow-up stage-two projects in Western Victoria zone would include another synchronou­s condenser at Murra Warra, north of Horsham, a 220kv upgraded line from Murra Warra to Bulgana and two industrial-sized batteries.

Energy, Environmen­t and Climate Change minister Lily D’ambrosio said all projects listed in the REZ plans would prepare the grid for the unpreceden­ted load of renewable energy in the pipeline.

“These projects are an investment in unlocking the next wave of renewable energy across Victoria. They will ensure we have the transmissi­on needed to harness the sunshine and wind across Victoria,” she said

“This is a clear signal to investors that Victoria is open for business and ready for new wind and solar projects that create jobs and opportunit­ies in local communitie­s.”

Vicgrid, a new body establishe­d within the Department of Environmen­t, Land, Water and Planning, will oversee investment decisions related to the REZ Fund.

Vicgrid will continue to evolve, following further stakeholde­r consultati­on, to co-ordinate the future developmen­t of Victoria’s REZS.

For more informatio­n people can visit energy.

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