VicGrid wind consultations have begun

File photograph



THE state government has begun early consultations on new transmission connections needed for Victoria’s first offshore wind farms off the Gippsland coast.

VicGrid has started public consultation in Gippsland on a coordinated approach to new transmission connections that the Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio, said were essential for offshore wind. VicGrid is a body within the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Change that coordinates the overarching planning and development of Victorian renewable energy zones.

The move comes as the Victorian Farmers Federation has formed a new energy and transmission taskforce to lead its advocacy on renewable energy and transmission infrastructure development and give farmers a say in the process.

The new taskforce, which includes Gippsland VFF president Hamilton Gerrand, will focus on providing a united advocacy approach for farming communities that are battling the proposed developments.

The state government has set targets for at least two gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2032, 4GW by 2035 and 9GW by 2040, which will involve billions in investment.

Ms D’ Ambrosio said for the offshore wind industry to thrive and to ensure capacity to power the state as ageing coal-fired generators retire, “we need new connections to carry this renewable energy to homes and businesses across the state”.

VicGrid’s task is to ensure new transmission is available in time to support Victoria’s first offshore wind farm, coordinate planning to avoid a ‘spaghetti effect’ of multiple lines criss-crossing the landscape and minimise energy costs for households and businesses.

Ms D’Ambrosio said Traditional Owners, communities and stakeholders across Gippsland needed to be at the heart of the work.

VicGrid, which will lead four phases of ongoing public engagement, has prepared a development and engagement roadmap 2023.

This will provide information on VicGrid’s role and development approach, invite feedback on the approach, and establish ongoing consultation and coordination arrangements.

Phase 1 of the plan will begin immediately, with direct, place-based engagement with Traditional Owners, communities and stakeholders. Only after this process of information sharing will VicGrid start developing preferred options for routes, which will be informed by the feedback received through Phase 1.

Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing, said the government wanted to make sure local communities and stakeholders have a real voice in planning this crucial infrastructure so that it can benefit all Victorians.

VFF president, Mirboo North’s Emma Germano, said farmers needed to be at the centre of this process.

“It’s their livelihoods at risk and it’s their communities that are being torn apart,” she said.

Ms Germano said the taskforce’s focus would be on critical issues involving land access and compensation for farmers, while also looking at alternatives to overhead powerlines over farms.

For more information on VicGrid’s plans, visit