GANNAWARRA Shire Council could be transformed into the renewable energy capital of Australia once the upgrade of a major electricity transmission line that passes through the Gannawarra is complete.
The Australian Energy Market Operator has released the Building power systems resilience with pumped hydro energy storage report, with one of the three projects identified to directly benefit the Gannawarra.
In what mayor Lorraine Learmonth has described as “game changing” for the Gannawarra, AEMO recommends the development of KerangLink – a project that develops a new interconnecting electricity transmission line between Victoria and New South Wales.
The project aims to better utilise resources across the national network and reduce operational costs following the closure of coal-fired thermal powered stations in both states.
“Council, both independently and through its membership of the Murray River Group of Councils, has been advocating both AEMO and the Victorian Minister for Energy, Lily D’Ambrosio for the upgrade of the major electricity transmission line that passes through the Gannawarra,” Cr Learmonth said.
“We are already seeing the benefits of the Gannawarra being home to Australia’s largest integrated battery and solar farm, and the development of KerangLink has the capacity not only to support the six renewable energy projects that have received planning permit approval, but many other investment opportunities.
“These projects will provide greater employment opportunities, while recent changes to the Electricity Industries Act, which council campaigned successfully for, will enable local governments to recoup a payment in lieu of rates on these assets.
"This will mean greater financial support for council to maintain and improve its assets and services.”
The AEMO’s report recommends the optimal commission of KerangLink is 2026-2027, enabling Victoria to be connected to Snowy 2.0 and generate sufficient electricity in time for the closure of the Yallourn coal-fired thermal powered station between 2029 and 2032.
“The report is available to read on the AEMO website.