Energy Grid Alliance is concerned that the best solution may be one that is not currently being considered.
Every effort should be made to site new transmission lines, to the greatest extent feasible that is consistent with economic and engineering considerations, reliability of electric system, and protection of the existing environment, utilising corridors in the following order of priority:
- existing utility corridors
- highway and railroad corridors
- new corridors.
When rigorously evaluated as part of routing decisions, corridor sharing can be a useful method in mitigating environmental, property, and community impacts of a new transmission line.
The siting of transmission facilities must seek to avoid to the maximum extent possible areas of high ecological, cultural, economic, and aesthetic value and sensitivity.
The objective is to protect and maintain the natural, aesthetic and scientific values of significant geological and geomorphological features.
Overhead transmission infrastructure should not permanently alter character of state significant landscape. When the construction of transmission facilities in or near sensitive habitats cannot be avoided, impacts should be minimised using underground cables instead of overhead lines.
Energy Grid Alliance recommends a comprehensive review of the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project. Overhead transmission infrastructure is not in the public interest when it results in such vast direct and cumulative disbenefits. In protecting Victoria's economy and environment, it is vital energy transmission line routing and siting serves to protect and enhance our socio-economic and natural environments by avoiding sensitive, materially populated and strategically productive areas.