About the program

Current status

A map outlining the area of interest for Option 5AAEMO Victoria Planning (AVP) and Transgrid have recently released the Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) which identifies the preferred network option for VNI West.

The PACR is the final report in the Regulated Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T).

The PACR identifies the preferred option for VNI West, charting a broad corridor that connects it to Western Renewables Link (WRL) at a new terminal station at Bulgana and crossing the Murray River north of Kerang. This continues on to EnergyConnect in New South Wales at the new Dinawan substation. It is known as Option 5A.

Option 5A is a variant of the proposed preferred Option 5 from the additional Consultation Report published in February 2023.

In this next phase of the project the focus shifts to the host communities, and working with these important stakeholders, including landholders and Traditional Owners, to refine the route.

Transmission Company Victoria or TCV

TCV is a new company created by AEMO Victorian Planning to progress the VNI West transmission project.

TCV will discuss the VNI West transmission project with landholders, Traditional Owners and the community to understand local concerns as the project moves towards construction.

As AEMO is the system planner, and will not physically construct or own the transmission lines, it established TCV to make sure that commitments made in the early stages are captured and honoured across the life of the project.

TCV will provide early project updates, and will work with the community on this important transmission line.

Keep up to date with VNI West through the TCV website at www.transmissionvictoria.com.au

NEVA Orders

In February 2023, the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources issued a NEVA Order, which allowed important cultural, social and environmental issues to be considered in the work to identify alternate pathways for VNI West that may help accelerate the project.

The Minister used powers under the NEVA to make a second Ministerial Order in May which identifies Option 5A as the preferred option for the Victorian components of the project along with changes to the Western Renewables Link.


In December 2019, AEMO and TransGrid commenced a joint Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) to assess the viability of increasing interconnector capacity between Victoria and New South Wales.

Strategic planning is critical to ensuring the ongoing reliability and security of the power system, at the least cost and risk to consumers. 

AEMO and TransGrid are jointly undertaking a Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) to assess the technical and economic viability of expanding interconnector capability between Victoria and New South Wales, to identify the preferred option to meet the identified need, and its optimal timing, in accordance with the National Electricity Rules (NER).

The identified need for investment

The energy landscape across the National Electricity Market (NEM) is changing rapidly. The integration of renewable generation continues to shift the geography and technical characteristics of supply, while an aging fleet of existing conventional generators will progressively withdraw from the market over the coming decades.

This energy transformation is having a dramatic impact on the utilisation of the existing power system. It is increasing network congestion in some areas, while also increasing the system’s reliance on interconnection between regions to facilitate the reliable and efficient sharing of resources between states.

Well-targeted and timely investment in the transmission network is required to keep pace with these changes and provide consumers with the most cost-effective energy outcomes.

This RIT-T aims to realise net market benefits by:

  • Efficiently maintaining supply reliability in Victoria following the closure of further coal-fired generation and the decline in aging generator reliability - including mitigation of the risk that existing plant closes earlier than expected.
  • Facilitating efficient development and dispatch of generation in areas with high quality renewable resources in Victoria and southern New South Wales through improved network capacity and access to demand centres.
  • Enabling more efficient sharing of resources between NEM regions.

Investment options

AEMO and TransGrid are considering network augmentations and non-network options to address the identified need. The recommended solution will be required to address the identified need and maximise net economic benefits to all those who produce, consume and transport electricity in the NEM.

VNI West Fact Sheet and Website Map PSCR

The RIT-T Process

The RIT-T process is a regulatory mechanism defined in the NER that applies an economic cost-benefit test on significant new transmission electricity infrastructure proposed for the NEM. The purpose of a RIT-T is to identify the credible option for meeting an identified need that maximises net economic benefit for all those who produce, consume and transport electricity in the NEM. 

The RIT-T process requires transmission network planners considering significant investment in new transmission infrastructure to publish three reports:

  1. The first report, the Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR), seeks feedback and advice on the identified need for new transmission infrastructure. 
  2. The second report, the Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR), identifies and seeks feedback on the preferred infrastructure investment option. 
  3. The third report, the Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR), presents the transmission planner’s recommended solution to deliver the highest net economic benefit and intended course of action.

AEMO and TransGrid are committed to working with industry, government, investors and consumers on this project as we work to secure and shape Australia’s energy future in the long-term interests of consumers.

We value your feedback on this program and are committed to ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders. We will continue to provide updates as we move through this program. 

For more information, contact 1800 824 221 or email VNIWestRITT@aemo.com.au

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