As the system and market operator, AEMO’s role is to deliver energy security to all Australians.

We do this by putting in place plans to manage the energy transition to a low emissions future, paving the path towards a cost efficient and secure power system.

What many might not know, AEMO is the Transmission Network Service Provider in Victoria, with responsibility for the planning of the state’s transmission network. This means we work closely with infrastructure investors and large customers to make decisions on when and where new transmission network infrastructure should be built, and importantly at the lowest possible cost.

Findings from AEMO’s recently released Victorian Annual Planning Report (VAPR) indicate that a coordinated planning approach to energy infrastructure is essential to managing the tangible impacts of the energy disruption. This report is published annually and looks at the needs of the Victorian transmission network over the next 10 years, foreshadows any issues that might arise and identifies the plans we have in place to meet reliability and security over the decade.

We’ve listed the key insights outlined in the VAPR requiring an all of industry approach to deliver for Victorian consumers:

Unlocking the potential of western Victoria – AEMO has identified an ongoing increase in the number of renewable generation projects in western Victoria and this trend is forecast to continue. The level of investment has resulted in the need to upgrade the energy infrastructure in the region, to relieve congestion and support the efficient delivery of energy from these renewable energy hubs to meet future needs.

Managing voltages within operational limits at low demand – the number of solar and home battery installations continue to rise as consumers embrace being more engaged with their energy use. This has resulted in reduced demand from the grid, which means we need to look at adopting a different approach to managing the core engineering dynamics (such as voltage control) of a functioning, secure grid.

Increasing Victorian to NSW export capacity – the role of Australia’s electricity interconnectors has always facilitated the sharing of energy across states, and delivered economic benefits to consumers by doing so. Increasing the ability of the interconnector to share energy from Victoria to New South Wales will ultimately boost the economic benefits to consumers.

AEMO is in the process of undergoing several regulatory investment tests for transmission (RIT-T) to address the issues highlighted above. These RIT-Ts will allow AEMO to identify the most economic option that will deliver long-term solutions to these issues.

Against the backdrop of an aging Victorian power system and an energy transformation that is gaining pace, it is more important than ever to apply a holistic framework across the power system so that challenges are not viewed in isolation. An integrated and strategic approach that looks across the entire supply chain is necessary to enable investment decisions to be made in the long-term interests of consumers… so stay tuned for the upcoming release of AEMO’s inaugural Integrated System Plan.