In 1918 the SECV was established and the State Government appointed “Electricity Commissioners” responsible for generation and distribution of electricity throughout the State.
The Commissioners’ prime task was to exploit the vast brown coal reserves of the Latrobe Valley for electricity generation, thereby freeing Victoria from its dependence on imported fuel.
In 1921, the title “Electricity Commissioners” was changed to the “State Electricity Commission of Victoria”, with Sir John Monash (see separate tab)appointed as full-time Chairman.
In the same year, work began on preparing the site at Yallourn for open-cut mining.
In 1924 power began to flow from the first generator at Yallourn (the first brown coal power station outside Germany) to Melbourne.
This was the beginning of an electricity supply industry that was to become the lifeblood of industrial and economic development throughout the State.
The SECV has been inextricably linked to all the major industrial developments in the State and, indeed, has played an integral role in achieving a high living standard for Victorians.
Highlights in the SECV’s history include:
The Rubicon Hydroelectric Scheme is a small run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme located on the Rubicon and Royston Rivers, north east of Melbourne, 40 km (25 mi) south-west of Alexandra, Victoria, Australia. The scheme commenced in 1922, and was the first state-owned hydroelectric scheme to generate electricity in mainland Australia, and among the first in the world to be remotely controlled.
For the first ten years of its operation it supplied on average 16.9% of electricity generated by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria.
The Yallourn Power Station was a complex of six brown coal–fuelled thermal power stations built progressively from the 1920s to the 1960s. Located in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria, Australia, the complex was situated beside the Latrobe River, with the company town of Yallourn located to the south west. Today only the 1,450 megawatts Yallourn W plant remains.
The adjacent open Yallourn brown coal mine is the largest open cut coal mine in Australia, with reserves to meet the projected needs of the power station to 2032.
The first stage of the 500kV transmission system was placed in service in June 1970, and the second of the second of the two 500 kV lines from Hazelwood to Keilor has been in service since December 1971.
Sir John Monash was born in West Melbourne on 27 June 1865. He died of a heart attack on 8 October 1931 aged sixty six. Of German origin, he was educated at Scotch College and then at Melbourne University where he graduated in engineering, arts and law.
Monash was an ambitious and intelligent man who went on to have a successful career in the army rising to the rank of General. In 1920 he was appointed to manage the State Electricity Commission. He was a very influential man in the decisions concerning Victoria – 250,000 people attended his State funeral.
Much has been written about Sir John Monash and the following links provide further information :