The Minister for Planning is the responsible authority for new planning permit applications of all energy generation facilities that are 1 megawatt or greater. This includes both renewable energy facilities and non-renewable energy facilities, such as:
- pumped hydro
The Minister for Planning is also responsible for new planning permit applications for utility installations. This includes utility installations that send or distribute electricity, such as powerlines, or that store electricity if the installed capacity is 1 megawatt or greater, such as battery and compressed air storage.
Wind energy amendments
Amendment VC199 (gazetted 3 February 2022) changes the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning schemes to align existing provisions with current policy, guidelines and legislation, delete redundant content and correct clerical errors. This includes changing the mandatory noise assessment requirement for an environmental audit report at clause 52.32-4 to require a verification report.
Amendment VC212 (gazetted 13 October 2021) changes the Victorian Planning Provisions and some planning schemes to support the ongoing operation of wind energy facilities and increases the amenity protections for nearby accommodation uses.
Amendment VC206 (gazetted 3 August 2021) changes the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by modifying the particular provisions at clause 52.32 to remove the mandatory condition requirement for post construction noise assessment reports, clause 66.03 to make the Environmental Protection Authority a recommending referral authority for an application to amend a permit for a wind energy facility and updated clauses 19.01-2S and 52.32-6 to reflect current policy.
Amendment VC195 (gazetted 11 March 2021) changes the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by modifying the particular provision at clause 52.32 (Wind energy facilities) to alter the exemptions for an application to amend a planning permit for a wind energy facility made under section 72 and 97 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
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 VC160 (gazetted 24 January 2020) changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by clarifying that the mandatory noise assessment and conditions for wind energy facilities do not apply to applications to amend a planning permit where the changes will not alter the noise assessment of the wind energy facility.
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 and utility installations that are 1 megawatt or greater, including battery storage.
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 transmitting, distributing or storing 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 (including a wind farm) to the electricity network. This does not apply to generators that had planning approval prior to the gazettal of the amendment.
Amendment VC141 (gazetted 21 November 2017) changes the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by updating Clause 19.01 and amending Clause 52.32 to reflect changes proclaimed through the Planning and Building Legislation Amendment (Housing Affordability and Other Matters) Act 2017 in relation to an amendment to a planning permit for a windfarm. Clause 52.32-8 and 52.32-9 were added to specify that some amendments to called in planning permits for wind energy facilities are exempt from being referred to panel.
Policy and planning guidelines
The policy and planning guidelines for the development of wind energy facilities in Victoria help to inform planning decisions about proposals and set out:
- a framework to provide a consistent and balanced approach to the assessment of wind energy facilities;
- operational performance standards to inform the assessment and operation of wind energy facilities;
- guidance as to how planning permit application requirements might be met.
The guidelines have been updated to address changes introduced by the abovementioned amendments.
Planning permit conditions
Model planning permit conditions for wind energy facilities have been developed to assist all parties involved in permit applications. They are provided in Appendix B of the Policy and planning guidelines for wind energy facilities in Victoria (DOCX, 122.3 KB).
The conditions are for guidance only and should be adapted depending on the individual circumstance of each wind energy proposal.
Guide to Victoria's planning system
Learn about the planning system in Victoria, including a complete guide to Using Victoria's Planning System (PDF, 2.8 MB)
Wind energy facilities in Victoria
Information about operating wind energy facilities and other projects in Victoria that have lodged a planning permit application, have planning approval, or are under construction, can be found at the wind projects page.
Information about the steps the Victorian Government is taking to ensure the state makes the best use of its abundant wind resource as a renewable energy source can be found on the wind energy page.
Wind energy facilities in Victoria can be viewed on VicPlan, which is one of the Victorian Government's public GIS systems:
- Start VicPlan
- Go to the ‘Map’ tab from the main toolbar and click the 'Layer Catalogue' button.
- Expand the 'Wind & Solar Farms' folders and select maps by ticking the checkbox alongside each layer. Click OK.
- 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 and off by ticking the relevant checkbox.
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 email@example.com.
Information relevant to native vegetation requirements can be found on the Native vegetation page.
Victorian government departments and agencies
Department of Transport and Planning:
- Regional offices
- Environment assessment
- Planning Panels Victoria
- Heritage Victoria
- VicPlan (property reports and other planning information).
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.
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
- The Victorian Wind Atlas, Sustainable Energy Authority Victoria (now Sustainability Victoria), December 2003
- Wind Farm Industry Policy Statement (Commonwealth Department of Environment) assists wind farm operators to decide if proposed actions require assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
- Submitting a referral under the EPBC Act – A fact sheet for a person proposing to take an action (PDF, 781 KB) assists solar energy developers to decide if they should make a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
- Ministerial guidelines for assessment of environmental effects under the Environment Effects Act 1978 (PDF, 581.7 KB) assist wind farm developers to decide if they should make a referral under the Environment Effects Act 1978
- Draft National Wind Farm Development Guidelines, July 2010
- Community Engagement and Benefit Sharing in Renewable Energy Development: A Guide for Renewable Energy Developers (PDF, 4.5 MB) – Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victorian Government (authored by T Lane and J Hicks)
- A Guide to Benefit Sharing Options for Renewable Energy Projects, October 2019 (PDF, 3.6MB) – Clean Energy Council
- Community Engagement Guidelines for Building Powerlines for Energy Developments: A guide for proponents, landholders and communities, December 2018 (PDF, 2MB) – Clean Energy Council
- Community Engagement Guidelines: For the Australian Wind Industry, June 2018 (PDF, 1.5MB) – Clean Energy Council
- Best Practice Guidelines: For Implementation of Wind Energy Projects in Australia, June 2018 (PDF, 949KB) – Clean Energy Council
- Renewable Energy Fire Safety (PDF, 3.2MB) – Clean Energy Council
- Guidelines for Renewable Energy Installations (PDF, 1.3MB) – Country Fire Authority
- Guidelines for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation (PDF, 1.5MB) – Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victorian Government
- Protecting Victoria's Environment – Biodiversity 2037 (PDF, 4.9MB) – Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victorian Government
- The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Planning Permit Process: Planning Practice Note 45 (PDF, 361.7 KB) – Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victorian Government
- EPA Publication 1834:Environmental guidelines for major construction sites (PDF, 208KB) – Environment Protection Authority, Victorian Government
- EPA Publication 1692: Wind energy facility noise auditor guidelines – Environment Protection Authority, Victorian Government
Information for calculating the greenhouse benefits of wind energy development, and other helpful links and resources are provided below.
A guide to calculating greenhouse benefits of wind energy facility proposals:
Birds and bats
DEECA is improving the regulation of wind farm impacts on birds and bats.
The aim is to ensure that species at potential risk are protected by clear, proportionate and effective regulations.
The Victorian Brolga (Antigone rubicunda) was the first species DEECA reviewed. DEECA is using new information about the impact of wind farms on this bird to continue to update the ‘Interim Guidelines for the Assessment, Avoidance, Mitigation and Offsetting of Potential Wind Farm Impacts on the Victorian Brolga Population 2011’ (Interim Guidelines). For project updates, visit the Engage Victoria website.
Other species being reviewed are being informed by two technical reports by the Arthur Rylah Institute. The first report developed an approach to determine the species at potential risk from the impacts of wind turbine collisions at the state-wide population level.
- Summary report on the approach for determining species at potential risk (PDF, 156.4 KB)
- Technical report
The second report collated and analysed post-construction bird and bat mortality data collected from Victorian wind energy facilities.
- Clean Energy Council
- Danish Wind Industry Association
- Green Power
- Australian Energy Market Operator
- Australian Renewable Energy Agency
- CADDET Renewable Energy
- Energy Networks Australia
- Australian Energy Council
- Department of the Environment and Energy
- Renewable Energy Certificates Registry
- Clean Energy Regulator
Page last updated: 11/05/23