The Minister for Planning is the responsible authority for new planning permit applications for 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 the responsible authority 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 storage.
Wind energy amendments
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 and utility installations that are 1 megawatt or greater, including battery storage.
Amendment VC160 (gazetted 24 January 2020) changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by clarifying the mandatory noise assessment and mandatory 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 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 (including a wind farm) to the electricity network. This does not apply to generators that had planning approval prior to gazettal of the amendment.
- Feedback is being sought until 16 March 2020 on the operation of the new provisions of Amendment VC157 - more information can be found on the energy generation facilities and associated powerlines page.
Policy and planning guidelines
The policy and planning guidelines for 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 amendments listed above.
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 (DOC, 260.5 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
At the start of 2020, Victoria had 26 operating wind energy facilities.
Information about these operating wind energy facilities, as well as information about 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 at 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
- From the main toolbar, go to the ‘Map’ tab and click on the 'Layer Catalogue' button.
- Expand the 'Wind & Solar Farms' folders and select maps by ticking the check-box 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 check-box.
DELWP provides a pre-application service to applicants. To arrange a meeting, please complete the Renewable Energy Pre-application Meeting Request form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Information relevant to native vegetation requirements can be found on the Native vegetation page.
Victorian government departments and agencies
- Contact planning: first point of contact and metropolitan and regional offices
- Planning Panels Victoria
- Heritage Victoria
- VicPlan (property reports and other planning information)
Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions:
Includes responsibility for agriculture, energy, resources, economic development, employment and innovation.
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 including wind and renewable energy.
Administers legislation that protects Aboriginal cultural heritage. Potential impacts of a wind energy facility on Aboriginal cultural values must be considered in the early planning stages of a development.
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
- Wind Farms: A Guide for Communities (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
- Environmental guidelines for major construction sites (PDF, 208KB) – 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
DELWP is improving the regulation of wind farm impacts on birds and bats.
The aim is to ensure species at potential risk are protected by regulations that are clear, proportionate and effective.
The Victorian Brolga (Antigone rubicunda) is the first species DELWP is reviewing. DELWP is using new information about the impact of wind farms on this bird 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).
DELWP is now seeking feedback on the draft ‘Brolga Assessment and Mitigation Standards for Wind Energy Facilities’ (Draft Standards). To find out more and provide your feedback, head to Engage Victoria. Submissions close on 18 December 2020.
Other species to be 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 by 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: 18/11/20