The Victorian Government wants new planning mechanisms to help a rapid uptake of large-scale renewable energy.

In particular, it wants builders to consider community issues when building the powerlines that will connect new energy systems.

The state’s Minister for Planning Richard Wynne says planning permits will now be required for the power lines that connect new large-scale electricity generators to the energy network.

Previously, there was no requirement for a planning permit to build power lines that operate at less than 220,000 volts.

Concerns were also raised that there was no public involvement in the process for deciding power line routes, and that development of power lines was occurring in an unregulated manner.

The change means that where new power lines are required to connect a wind or solar farm into the grid, they will go through a planning assessment process to ensure the views of the community are heard and potential impacts are mitigated.

These changes bring Victorian regulation into line with other states.

“This change will ensure that developers take into account visual aspects and traffic safety issues, while also ensuring the public have the chance to make submissions as part of the permit application process,” Mr Wynne said.

The changes will only apply to new planning permit applications for electricity generators not retrospectively to existing planning permits.