Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the agreement with Victoria to support the Keranglink, also known as the VNI West project, would 'create new jobs, put downward pressure on prices, and shore up the reliability of the grid'. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen
“The VNI West project will play a crucial role in ensuring Victorians have access to the affordable and reliable electricity they need to power their lives," he said, adding that the Commonwealth was also backing new transmission between NSW and South Australia and between Victoria and Tasmania.
Apart from helping Victoria exploit more of the rich solar energy resources of the state's south-west, the project's preferred route would also take it close to the South-West renewable energy zone, one of five big regions where the Berejiklian government is encouraging as much as $32 billion in new clean energy generation and storage.
Bruce Mountain, director of the Victoria Energy Policy Centre, said the eventual cost of the VNI West or KerangLink is unlikely to "leave much change from a billion dollars", and would be a critical supply outlet assuming the multi-billion Snowy 2.0 project proceeds.
"Without it, there is no additional value to Victoria whatsoever" from Snowy 2.0, Dr Mountain said.