$3 B projects underway in Australia
Authorities say much needed energy won’t be able to reach the grid without major upgrades to networks in rural Victoria.
Developers are lining up to build wind and solar projects in towns to the west and north of Ballarat.
“We’ve got $3 B worth of projects currently underway,” said Stuart Benjamin, the chairman of a Victorian Government-commissioned taskforce.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has predicted as much as 5,000 MW of new renewable energy will be generated in the state’s west by 2025.
Victoria currently produces a little more than 11,000 MW in total.
There is just one problem.
“The current electricity lines in some parts of regional Victoria can’t accept high volumes of electrical flow without becoming overheated,” said James Prest, from the Australian National University’s Energy Change Institute.
As it stands, the rural transmission lines will be simply unable to transmit the 5 GW without significant upgrades.
The AEMO is calling for immediate investment of $370 M to upgrade the network, including double circuit transmission lines between Ballarat, Bulgana and Sydenham, augmentations to existing lines between Moorabool and Terang and Red Cliffs and Bendigo, as well as a possible new terminal station at Ballarat.