The Victoria to NSW Interconnector West (VNI West) involves the development of a new 500-kilovolt high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) interconnector between the Snowy Mountains region and Melbourne to increase transfer capacity between New South Wales and Victoria.
AEMO's 2020 integrated Systems Plan 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.
In July 2022, the Western "Kerang Route" was selected as the preferred alignment.
In 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, which has an indicative capital cost of $3.5 billion and comprises of a 500 kilovolt (kV) double circuit overhead transmission line connecting Western Renewables Link at Bulgana with EnergyConnect at Dinawan via a new terminal station near Kerang, and crossing the Murray River north of Kerang.
|2031||Expected Construction Completion|
|Debt Finance:||Federal Government|
|Debt Finance:||Clean Energy Finance Corportation|
|Jul 2019||AEMO released an Insights Paper in support of the 2018 Integrated Systems Plan that the most optimal outcome could be having KerangLink in 2026-27 commissioned around the same time Snowy 2.0 finished.|
|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 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.|
AEMO 2018 ISP Insights
AEMO 2020 ISP
RIT-T Project Specification Consultation Report - December 2019
AEMC: Last Resort Planning Power - 2018
2022/04/11 - Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook
Project Assessment Conclusion Report