“As an industry, we struggle with just-in-time. Either the transmission comes too early and the customers pay earlier, or it comes too late and the customers actually pay for it. It’s very difficult to get this just right within the regulatory system,” said Ms Collyer.
“Government support is very welcome. It will prioritize investment so we can get it in time.”
Labor estimates its infrastructure spending will unlock $58 billion in private co-financing in assets to help achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
However, energy managers warned that developing the new infrastructure would require significant engagement with the community to secure permission to build tens of thousands of kilometers worth of pylons and wires across the country needed to support new renewable energy projects connect energy to the grid.
“Without transmission, there will be no transition, so we have to get going,” said Brett Redman, Transgrid’s chief executive officer and former head of AGL Energy.
Earlier this year, hundreds of farmers demonstrated outside the Victoria State Parliament against AusNet’s proposed Western Victorian Transmission Network Project (WVTNP).
The transmission lines are intended to carry renewable energy from Bulgana north of Ararat to Melbourne, but opponents said the infrastructure would limit the use of their agricultural land.
Amid mounting anger, Labor said earlier this year it would overhaul regulations on tens of billions of dollars worth of energy transmission projects to give local communities more say and potential revenue, much like farmers who host wind farms.
Labor said many communities are being forced to accept new transmission lines without consultation and changes would allow greater say earlier in the process. New hosting transmission line payments are also being considered.
As the problem has worsened, some states have attempted to minimize the need for new transmission lines.
Victoria earlier this year set a target of generating about 20 per cent of its energy needs from offshore wind within a decade, and proposed developers such as Star of the South said they could plug into existing infrastructure.