On 27 May 2023, AEMO Victoria Planning (AVP) and Transgrid published the Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) for the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) process for The Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector (VNI-West).
The AER is seeking further explanation on the identification and ranking of credible options in the VNI West PACR, including identification of a preferred option.
Specifically, we note that the PACR does not fully assess a number of options and aspects of the VNI West project.
We are seeking further information to understand how the PACR satisfies the requirement in clause 5.16A.4(j) – being, that the PACR must set out the matters detailed in the Project Assessment Draft Report (in this case the VNI West Consultation Report – Options Assessment published in February 2023) as required under clause 5.16A.4(d).
In particular, the AER is seeking further information on:
- Why the PACR does not assess Option 2, Option 3, Option 3A and Option 4 which were all identified as ‘credible options’ in the February Consultation Report
- Why the PACR does not further consider Option 3A, which was identified in the February Consultation Report as the ‘preferred option’ that maximises the positive net economic benefits to those who produce, consume and transport in the National Electricity Market as defined in cl.5.15A.1(c) of the NER.
- Why the PACR only considers Option 5 and 5A in the PACR, and explain the conclusion that there is only one credible option.
- Why it provides limited analysis of the NSW component of the VNI West project. Please provide further information on:
- option selection for routes between Dinawan and the Murray River crossing points
- the cost benefit analysis of these options; and
- the infrastructure to be built to the preferred crossing point.
The compliance report on the VNI West PACR must be published by 26 June 2023 and must identify how these issues on the register have been resolved.
The AER will publish the compliance report for VNI West once it has been received.