Delivering critical energy infrastructure

The Morrison Government is supporting critical energy infrastructure to ensure continued reliability of the national energy grid so Australian households, businesses and industry can continue to enjoy low energy prices. 

The Government has reached an underwriting agreement with New South Wales transmission provider Transgrid to deliver early works for the proposed Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector (VNI) West. 

VNI West is expected to deliver up to 1,800MW of additional capacity between New South Wales and Victoria. 

This will enable greater utilisation of Snowy Hydro’s existing capacity and help unlock the benefits of Snowy 2.0’s on-demand, dispatchable generation to keep the lights on and prices low for consumers. Further it will support the record levels of investment in renewables including household solar of which Australia is a world leader. 

Through $75.8 million in underwriting, the Government will enable Transgrid to commence community and stakeholder engagement, project planning and technical design. This will ensure the VNI West interconnector remains on track and the delivery of Project Energy Connect (PEC), HumeLink and VNI West are well integrated.

The Government’s commitment to VNI West forms part of our ongoing support for the development of major priority electricity transmission infrastructure in the National Electricity Market (NEM), in line with the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2020 Integrated System Plan. 

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said targeted action to support VNI West, an ‘actionable’ project in AEMO’s plan, continues the Government’s record of putting the interests of consumers first and delivering affordable, reliable power.

“We are investing in VNI West because it is expected to generate $1.9 billion in net market benefits and will be a key part of an efficient transmission backbone for the electricity market,” Minister Taylor said.

“Our investment in this project will support reliable electricity supply, deliver substantial cost savings and help keep the lights on for Australian families, businesses and industries. 

“This builds on the Morrison Government’s record of judicious investment of over $800 million in priority transmission projects recommended by AEMO’s Integrated System Plan – projects that stack up for consumers. 

“We won’t do what Labor is proposing, which is to gold-plate the grid by spending $20 billion of taxpayers' money on transmission lines that are not considered actionable by the Market Operator. 

“Labor’s approach is exactly what the ISP was designed to prevent – a return to reckless gold-plating and a tax on consumers for decades to come in the form of higher electricity bills.

“It is the same mistake Labor made when it was last in government. Back then, overinvestment in Australia’s electricity grid saw network charges increase by nearly 70 per cent between 2007 and 2013.”

A Morrison Government will continue to work with industry, government and relevant stakeholders to deliver the most cost-effective energy outcomes in the interest of consumers.

Our balanced energy plan has seen power prices fall to their lowest level in eight years. 

Maintaining this balanced plan will deliver continued reliability and affordability for Australians while continuing to lower emissions.

Media contact: 

Minister Taylor's office 02 6277 7120