Over the last week, we have been reading through stakeholder submissions to the Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector West (VNI West) Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR). For the most part, the submissions were in support of options 7 and 6 (Figure 1). However, there was one submission that stood out, a non-network option to increase transfer capacity between Victoria and New South Wales from Fluence.
Fluence believe that the VTL can address near-term issues while enabling AEMO and TransGrid to evaluate further options at a later date. However, their proposal also fits in with the Victorian Govt’s System Integrity Protection Scheme (SIPS) program –to allow up to 250MW of additional import over VNI at peak times. During peak periods in Victoria, there tends to be increased output from generation assets in the Snowy region which has the practical effect of restricting southerly flows from NSW (at these times, flows can be restricted to only ~26% of capacity or ~350MW). Locating a battery at the end of this constraint can allow increased energy to be provided to Victoria when it otherwise would not have been possible.The proposal involves installing two 250MW/125MWh batteries that would operate as a Virtual Transmission Line (VTL) – at Wagga Wagga and South Morang substations respectively.