The Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector (VNI West), is a proposed 500 kV overhead transmission line, that connects the Western Renewables Link in Victoria to EnergyConnect in New South Wales.

It will strengthen the grid connection between Victoria and New South Wales, improving the reliability and security of the grid in both states.

VNI West is one of five actionable projects in the 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP) and critical to maintaining reliable electricity supply for all Victorians as coal-fired generation is switched off.

Coal generation is rapidly retiring, putting the reliability of our electricity supply at risk as energy demand continues to grow. Renewable generation, supported by storage (batteries and hydro) and gas will fill the supply gap.

New transmission is needed to connect renewable generation to homes, schools and workplaces. Renewables projects will be developed in the sunniest and windiest parts of the state –and these are not the same places where coal generators are located. Because the places that we will generate electricity are changing, new transmission lines are required.

While we will continue to use the existing network wherever possible, we need to build new transmission lines to connect new sources of generation with the homes, schools and businesses where it is used.

AEMO is an independent, not-for-profit company that manages the gas and electricity systems and markets across Australia. AEMO’s role is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, secure and reliable energy today and into the future.

In the National Electricity Market (NEM), AEMO is responsible for planning and operating the electricity system and markets.

Under the rules of the NEM, each state has a transmission network service provider (TNSP) who is responsible for planning the transmission network. AEMO Victorian Planning (AVP) has that responsibility in Victoria. Unlike TNSPs in other states, AVP does not own transmission assets.

Transmission Company Victoria (TCV) is a new company created by AEMO Victorian Planning to progress the VNI West transmission project.

AEMO’s 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP) identified VNI West as a project to be progressed urgently but did not identify any other major transmission developments in the region in the 'most likely' scenario.

The modelling for the PACR also does not forecast further major 500kV network builds in the region to 2050.

Australia’s power system is going through a once-in-a-generation transformation. It is not expected that transmission investment at the current scale and pace will need to continue once the power system has transformed to a low-emission system.

There will always be growth in renewable generation and demand that will require network upgrades, but, absent of a major technology disruptor, these will be minor.