EES required

August 9th, 2020EES required

VICTORIAN Planning Minister Richard Wynne said an Environment Effects Statement would be required for the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project which aims to establish 200km of new high-voltage transmission lines across Western Victoria to deliver more renewable energy into the state’s electricity grid.

Starting in Bulgana in Victoria’s west, the project would connect to Sydenham in Melbourne’s north-west and establish a new terminal station north of Ballarat.
Existing energy transmission infrastructure in the state’s west was not designed to accommodate the large-scale generation now being achieved by wind and solar, causing inefficiencies and congestion in the network.
The Australian Energy Market Operator has contracted Mondo, the commercial arm of AusNet Services, to develop and build the project. Mondo referred the project to the Minister for Planning to determine whether an EES was required and will now complete the EES, which will assess the comparative effects of different feasible routes, alignments, design and operational alternatives for the project – as well as the effectiveness of proposed measures to avoid, minimise and offset any environmental impacts.
The EES process is a rigorous environmental assessment framework for projects with the potential for significant environmental impacts. The process will enable transparent consideration of the project and provide several avenues for public feedback.
Draft EES scoping requirements will be exhibited for public comment in the coming months. After public comments are considered, Minister Wynne will finalise these requirements. Mondo will also be required to do an EES Consultation Plan to share information with the community and offer opportunities for feedback.
The Local has run two stories on the project, with a number of residents concerned about the impact on the environment and also over bushfire safety.

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