Landowners and community members in the Snowy Valley and surrounding regions are now able to nominate for participation in new Community Consultative Groups focused on the major transmission project HumeLink.
Executive Manager of Delivery Craig Stallan says the Groups are being established to provide a structured, ongoing forum for people to provide input about HumeLink in a transparent process.
“The Community Consultative Groups will be a genuine opportunity for landowners and others living and working in the HumeLink project corridor to provide information as we plan this critical infrastructure,” said Mr Stallan.
“The Groups represent a re-set of TransGrid’s approach to landowner and community engagement and we are committed to listening and working respectfully, effectively and transparently with communities,” he said.
Successful nominees for the Groups will be determined by an independent Chairperson and announced next month with the Groups expected to commence work shortly afterwards.
TransGrid published its Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) as the final part of the Australian Energy Regulator’s Regulatory Investment Test – Transmission consultation process.
The report demonstrated how the HumeLink project will benefit energy customers and deliver $491 million in net benefits over the assessment period.
“HumeLink will increase the amount of electricity that can be delivered to customers in NSW, the ACT and across the National Electricity Market,” said Mr Stallan.
He said HumeLink will also:
• reduce the need for new dispatchable generation investment to meet demand going forward;
• avoid capital costs that would otherwise be required associated with enabling greater integration of renewables in the National Electricity Market (NEM);
• lower the aggregate generator fuel costs required to meet demand in the NEM going forward;
• provide significant ‘competition benefits’ by increasing the efficiency of bidding in the wholesale market;
• help facilitate further reductions of carbon emissions to support achieving Australia’s climate change targets;
• create more than 1000 construction jobs; and
• contribute to regional economic activity generating major benefits for local communities along the route.
The creation of the new Community Consultative Groups form part of the response to the 20 recommendations recently made by landowner advocate, former NSW Commissioner for Fair Trading Rod Stowe, following his review of TransGrid’s processes.
The PACR outlines how TransGrid would deliver the new 500kv transmission line which will carry electricity to customers from new generation sources, including the expanded Snowy Hydro scheme.
HumeLink, like all other major transmission projects, is subject to a market benefits test administered by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). TransGrid must show the AER that HumeLink will benefit consumers, to be given final regulatory approval.