Landowners and community members in areas proposed to be covered by a transmission line are being invited to nominate for a series of consultative groups.
Transgrid is establishing the committees along the route of its planned 630km long Maragle to Bannaby transmission line, dubbed HumeLink.
The $2.1 billion 500-kilovolt line proposal is designed to bring new energy sources like renewables online, "unlock the Snowy Hydro Scheme's full potential" and increase the amount of energy that can be delivered across NSW and the ACT.
The company has come under fire for its level and method of consultation from landholders. An independent report by former NSW Fair Trading Commissioner and landowner advocate, Rod Stowe, also found consultation had not been transparent and recommended wholesale improvement.
Now, Transgrid is establishing three community consultative groups of 12 members each across the local government areas of Yass and Upper Lachlan; Wagga and Cootamundra/Gundagai; and Snowy Valleys.
Executive manager of delivery, Craig Stallan, said the groups were being established to provide a structured, ongoing forum for people to provide input about HumeLink in "a transparent process."
"The Community Consultative Groups will be a genuine opportunity for landowners and others living and working in the HumeLink project corridor to provide information as we plan this critical infrastructure," he said.
"The groups represent a re-set of TransGrid's approach to landowner and community engagement and we are committed to listening and working respectfully, effectively and transparently with communities."
The groups' creation is part of the company's response to Mr Stowe's 20 recommendations.
Successful nominees will be determined by an independent chairperson and announced next month. The groups are expected to commence work shortly afterwards.
Meantime, TransGrid has published its Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) as the final part of the Australian Energy Regulator's Regulatory Investment Test - Transmission consultation process.
The PACR outlines how TransGrid will deliver the new 500kv transmission line, if approved. It would carry electricity to customers from new generation sources, including the expanded Snowy Hydro scheme.
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Mr Stallan said the report demonstrated how the HumeLink project would benefit energy customers and deliver $491 million in net benefits over the assessment period.
"HumeLink will increase the amount of electricity that can be delivered to customers in NSW, the ACT and across the National Electricity Market," he said.
The project, like all other major transmission projects, is subject to a market benefits test administered by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). TransGrid must show the AER that HumeLink will benefit consumers, to be given final regulatory approval.
Information about the CCGs can be downloaded at: www.transgrid.com.au/humelink
Alternatively, people can contact the CCG secretariat from WSP at email@example.com or phone 0412 68 6026.
Applications close on September 24.
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