Since September 2019, the Minister for Planning is the responsible authority for new planning permit applications of all energy generation facilities that are 1 megawatt or greater. The local council remains responsible for permit applications lodged before 17 September 2019.

This includes both renewable energy facilities and non-renewable energy facilities, such as

  • wind
  • solar
  • waste-to-energy
  • pumped hydro
  • gas.

The Minister for Planning is also responsible for planning permit applications for utility installation, including powerlines used to transmit or distribute electricity or batteries to store electricity if they have an installed capacity of 1 megawatt or greater.

Solar energy amendments

Amendment VC224 (gazetted 28 October 2022) changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes to clarify the Victorian Government’s policy for the protection of declared irrigation districts and update references to the Solar Energy Facilities Design and Development Guideline which has been revised.

Amendment VC192 (gazetted 16 November 2020) changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes to make the Minister the responsible authority for all large energy generation facilities and utility installations.

Amendment VC161 (gazetted 17 September 2019) changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes to introduce new requirements for renewable energy facilities. The Minister for Planning is now the responsible authority for all new renewable energy facilities that are 1 megawatt or greater and associated utility installations.

Amendment VC159 (gazetted 8 August 2019) changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes to introduce and revise land use terms. This included amending the definition of ‘Utility installation’ to include transmit, distribute or store power, including battery storage.

Amendment VC157 (gazetted 15 March 2019) changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes so that a planning permit is required for a power line or substation required to connect an energy generation facility to the electricity network. This does not apply to generators that had planning approval prior to gazettal of the amendment.

Design and Development Guideline

The Victorian Government has developed the Solar Energy Facilities Design and Development Guideline to support the siting, design and assessment of large-scale solar energy facilities in Victoria:

Planning permit conditions

Model planning permit conditions for solar energy facilities have been developed to assist all parties involved in permit applications:

The model permit conditions are used for guidance only and should be adapted depending on the individual circumstance of each solar energy proposal.

Guide to Victoria's planning system

Learn about using Victoria’s planning system, including a complete guide (PDF, 8.0 MB)

Planning Schemes Online provides access to all approved planning schemes in Victoria including ordinance (text) and maps that describe the land use and overlays.

Solar energy facilities in Victoria

Information about the status of proposed or operating solar energy facilities across Victoria can be found at the solar projects page.


Solar energy facilities in Victoria can be viewed on VicPlan, one of the Victorian Government's public GIS systems, by following the steps below:

  1. Start VicPlan
  2. Go to the ‘Map’ tab from the main toolbar and select the 'Layer Catalogue' button.
  3. Expand the 'Wind & Solar Farms' folders and select maps by ticking the check-box alongside each layer. Click OK.
  4. The selected layers will appear on the map and be listed in the layer control panel to the left of the map. You can turn these layers on or off by ticking the relevant check-box.

Pre-application service

DTP provides a pre-application service to applicants. To arrange a meeting, please submit a request via the Permits Online Applicant Portal and upload the Renewable Energy Pre-application Meeting Request form (DOCX, 655.4 KB) and any other supporting plans or documentation. For support, please contact

Solar energy facility in irrigation districts

The Secretary of DEECA (the department administering the Water Act 1989) is a recommending referral authority for permit applications for solar energy facilities within irrigation districts. The Secretary will advise the Minister for Planning on referred permit applications regarding irrigation infrastructure asset management and future planning.

The Solar Energy Facilities Design and Development Guideline (2022) (Guideline) provides guidance on identifying suitable sites in irrigation districts and the importance of seeking assistance from DEECA early in the site selection phase of a project.

The Guideline states that ideally, a solar energy facility’s location should avoid land in a declared irrigation district that is, or was, serviced on 17 September 2019 by irrigation infrastructure managed by a rural water corporation unless the infrastructure has been, or is planned to be, decommissioned.

A proponent is strongly encouraged to engage with DEECA Water and Catchments Group early in the site selection phase of a project.

DEECA Water and Catchments Group will connect proponents with the relevant rural water corporation who can assist by providing initial site-specific information on whether a proposed site is within a declared irrigation district and whether it is serviced by irrigation infrastructure that the rural water corporation manages.

For a pre-application meeting with DEECA WCG about a proposed site within an irrigation district, contact

Native vegetation

Native vegetation provides habitat for plants and animals and delivers ecosystem services that make land more productive and contribute to human wellbeing.

In Victoria, a permit is usually required to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation. More information can be found on the DEECA native vegetation website.

Victorian government departments and agencies

Department of Transport and Planning

Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action

Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions
Includes responsibility for agriculture, economy, employment, resources, small business and investment.

Sustainability Victoria:
A Victorian Government agency, established to accelerate sustainable resource supply and use across the Victorian economy. Their website includes information on a range of sustainability measures.

First Peoples – State Relations:
Community strengthening and engagement, self-determination and treaty, cultural heritage management and protection.

Useful publications and references

Page last updated: 11/05/23