High-voltage Transmission Line Setback Policy Guidelines

Best Practice Guidelines for Australian Energy Transmission Discussion Paper

Purpose of this Paper

The purpose of the High-Voltage Transmission Line Setback Policy Guidelines is to provide framework and planning guidelines for the establishment of new large scale energy transmission projects.

It is important that State Planning Policies for Victoria emphasise the key role of planning in the establishment of energy infrastructure and the need to provide policies that allow for creative and innovative responses to energy demand and supply, while addressing potential impacts on communities and the environment.

Lack of planning policies, stakeholder and community engagement may result in material project delays or risk the project not proceeding at all, the results of which will impact the Victorian economy, energy infrastructure investment and energy consumers.

Feedback was sought (before midnight Wednesday, 30 June 2021) from community and industry stakeholders on recommended setbacks identified in the Best Practice Guidelines for Australian Energy Transmission Discussion Paper.

Victoria is on the brink of a massive energy market transformation with the construction of new wind and solar power, coupled with hundreds of kilometres of new transmission lines.

The need for an effective and efficient transmission network to transfer energy generated in renewable energy zones to the State power grid is recognised but it is fundamental the impacts on environment and community be considered during the planning process.

The development of the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project (WVTNP), Victoria's 6 Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) and associated renewable energy projects in regional Victoria means new transmission lines are needed to connect generation facilities to the existing network. It is important that the planning, design, consultation and construction phases for these transmission lines recognises the environmental and community impact of introducing new infrastructure into regional landscapes.

Energy Grid Alliance sees this as an opportunity to establish best planning practices to ensure new transmission line projects are subject to strict setback requirements via the planning permit assessment process, which will in turn deliver planning outcomes that better respond to environment and landscape contexts and community needs.

Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP)
Gazettal date 15 March 2019.

Amendment VC157 introduced changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and all planning schemes to require planning approval for power lines to connect new large-scale electricity generation facilities to the electricity network.

The amendment changed the VPP and all planning schemes by:

  • Amending Clause 73.03 (Land use terms) to introduce a new land use term 'Energy generation facility'.
  • Amending Clause73.04 (Nesting diagrams) to rename 'Renewable energy group' to 'Energy group' and nest the existing land use term 'Renewable energy facility' (including 'Wind energy facility') under the new land use term 'Energy generation facility'.
  • Amending Clause 73.03 (Land use terms) to amend the definition for ‘Minor utility installation’ which is exempt from the need for a planning permit to exclude power lines or sub-stations directly associated with an ‘Energy generation facility’ or ‘Geothermal energy extraction’.
  • Amending Clause 62.02 (Buildings and works) to insert an exemption for power lines and electrical sub-stations associated with an 'Energy generation facility' or 'Geothermal energy extraction' if a permit was issued prior to the gazettal date of Amendment VC157.

Source: DELWP Policies and Initiatives

Written submissions to the Best Practice Guidelines for Australian Energy Transmission Discussion Paper closed midnight Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

The paper has benefited from 26 submissions received from a variety of key stakeholders between May 2021 and July 2021.

Submissions are not included here for reasons of confidentiality.

Written submissions to the Best Practice Guidelines for Australian Energy Transmission Discussion Paper are welcome before midnight Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

Please email discussionpaper@energygridalliance.com.au to submit responses to the Discussion Paper.

For any queries regarding the process, please email discussionpaper@energygridalliance.com.au

Energy Grid Alliance may publicly release submissions to the Discussion Paper; respondents should indicate where any material is commercial-in-confidence and should not be released.

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