Plans for Hunter REZ and Orana REZ take form with approval of batteries to capture, store and distribute energy

The NSW Government has approved 2 new batteries to help future-proof NSW’s power supply for more than 100,000 homes in the Central-West Orana and Upper Hunter regions.

Battery storage

NSW has granted approval for the construction of cutting-edge battery storage systems in two of its Renewable Energy Zones (REZs). The projects, set to be developed in Apsley (Central-West Orana REZ) and Muswellbrook (Hunter Central Coast REZ), will introduce 120-megawatt and 150-megawatt battery storage systems, respectively, that will integrate with the existing electricity network.

These batteries aim to address energy reliability concerns and ensure a stable power supply throughout the state. The construction and operation of the battery storage systems will generate a total of 132 employment opportunities and inject a substantial $280 million boost into the NSW economy.

Recognized as the power plants of the future, the REZs in NSW represent new employment prospects and business opportunities for regional areas, both during the construction phase and long-term operation.

Currently, there are 27 large-scale renewable energy, transmission lines, and storage projects undergoing assessment within the NSW planning system. If approved, these projects will contribute 9 gigawatts of renewable energy and 5.5 megawatts of firming storage to the state's energy infrastructure.

The battery storage systems are projected to become operational by the end of 2025, and boast a lifespan of 20 years. The approval of these projects signifies a substantial leap toward realizing the ambitious Renewable Energy Roadmap, which aims to achieve 12 gigawatts of renewable energy production by 2030.

Minister for Energy, Penny Sharpe, said, "The transformation of our energy system needs to occur as soon as possible."

“Batteries are not only critical to supporting our state’s transition to net zero, they will assist us to get there sooner.”

“This cutting-edge technology will capture, store and distribute energy to help secure supply for thousands of homes and put downward pressure on electricity prices," said Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully.

“The batteries will be used during peak power consumption times and provide backup during outages or extreme weather events reducing the need for costly distribution upgrades or emergency generators.”

To read more about NSW's Renewable Energy Zones, go to the Energy Co website here.

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