Project

Victoria to NSW Interconnector West

PROJECT STATUS
Announced
Victoria to NSW Interconnector West

The Victoria to NSW Interconnector West (VNI West) is a new high capacity 500 kV double-circuit line to connect Western Renewables Link (from Bulgana) with Project EnergyConnect and HumeLink (at Dinawan) via a new substation near Kerang.

It is intended to increase transfer capacity between New South Wales and Victoria.

The preferred route for the NSW half of the project is a 230 kilometre section that runs in a north-south direction from the NSW/Victoria border towards the west of the Moulamein township before turning east north of the town of Moulamein. The route then travels in a generally east-west direction to the Dinawan substation, following existing infrastructure, such as Maude Road, Wanganella Moulamein Road, Mabins Well Road, and existing property boundaries.

The preferred route for the Victorian section has not been identified.

Key Dates

2028 Expected Construction Completion

Financing

; ;
Debt Finance: Federal Government
Debt Finance: Clean Energy Finance Corportation

Procurement

Procuring Agency: TransGrid

PROJECT HISTORY

Dec 2019 In December 2019, AEMO and TransGrid commenced a joint RIT-T which aims to assess the technical and economic viability of expanding interconnector capacity between Victoria and New South Wales, and realise net market benefits.
Jul 2020 AEMO's 2020 ISP identified two possible routes for the transmission line: - a new substation north of Ballarat to Bendigo to Shepparton to Wagga Wagga, and - a new substation north of Ballarat to Kerang to Darlington Point (or Dinawan) to Wagga Wagga. The ISP estimates that the Shepparton Route has a cost of between $1.2 billion and $2.2 billion, with a modelled cost of $1.73 billion, including early works up to $150 million. The cost for the Kerang Route is estimated by the ISP to be between $1.7 billion to $3.1 billion, with a modelled cost of $2.4 billion, including early works up to $200 million.
Sep 2020 The Federal Government announced that its intention to work with state governments to accelerate the project, alongside Project EnergyConnect and Marinus Link, through a combined program with funding of 'up to' $250 million.
Oct 2020 The Federal Government announced in its 2020-21 Budget that it will underwrite support for early works for the project.
Mar 2021 AEMO announced that the release of the Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) for the project will be delayed from March until December. The PADR will include the project's cost-benefit analysis as required by the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission.
Apr 2022 The Federal Government released a Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO) which committed $76 million in underwriting for the project.
Jul 2022 Transgrid released the Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) for the project for public consultation, closing on 9 September, as part of the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) process. It identifies VNI West as the preferred option for reinforcement of the transmission network.
Oct 2022 The Federal Government announced that Rewiring the Nation, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, would provide a concessional loan of $750 million for the project.
Feb 2023 The Victorian Government issued a Ministerial Order under the National Electricity (Victoria) Act 2005, enabling the Australian Energy Market Operator to to immediately carry out preparatory and planning works.
Mar 2023 Transgrid announced it secured $385 million in underwriting from the Federal Government as part of the Rewiring the Nation program to finance critical transmission supplies for VNI West, HumeLink and Project EnergyConnect. Transgrid also announced that procurement for these three projects will be bundled into one procurement program.
May 2023 AEMO Victorian Planning and Transgrid released the Project Assessment Conclusion Report (PACR) for the project's Regulatory Investment Test for transmission (RIT-T). The PACR identifies Option 5A as the preferred project route and estimated the cost at $3.5 billion.
Aug 2023 Transgrid signed a $100 million contract with ZTT Australia, a subsidiary of manufacturing company ZTT International, who will supply 17,500 kilometres of high voltage conductors to Transgrid as part of it’s Powering Tomorrow Together program. Under this program, Transgrid has bundled procurement for critical transmission equipment and materials for the HumeLink, Victoria to NSW Interconnector West and Project EnergyConnect projects together.
Dec 2023 AEMO's draft 2024 Integrated Systems plan lists the project as an 'actionable' project and provided an updated cost estimate of $3.6 billion ±30 per cent. It listed the in service timing to occur by December 2028 and full capacity timing to occur by December 2029.
Dec 2023 Transgrid submits Stage 1 (Early Works) Contingent Project application to the AER. The application identifies that total capex for early works on the NSW section of are forecast at $1.1 billion. This includes $793 for procurement activities, $98 million for acquiring transmission line easements, and $206 million for labour and indirect capex. The expected completion date for the early works is 2026.
Jan 2024 The Draft Route Report for the NSW section of VNI West was released for consultation, closing on 4 March.
Feb 2024 The Australian Energy Regulator commenced public consultation on the Stage One Contingent Project Application for early works of the project. The document included forecast capital costs for Stage One of $1.1 billion. The application was submitted by Transgrid in December 2023, with responses closing 1 March 2024.
Mar 2024 Transgrid has released its Preferred Route Report for the NSW component of the Victoria to NSW Interconnector West project. The Report responds to feedback on the Draft Route Report released in January, and includes modifications to move the proposed transmission line further north of the Moulamein township and widen the route by up to three kilometres at the eastern end near Dinawan.