Input sought on the draft Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) declaration
The NSW Government seeks any feedback that could help inform the final REZ declaration.
The REZ declaration is the first step in formalising the REZ under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (the Act). It sets out the intended network capacity (size), geographical area (location) and infrastructure that will make up the REZ. This enables and sets the scope of key legislative functions under the Act, including access schemes and REZ network infrastructure projects.
The draft declaration will be on public exhibition for four weeks until Wednesday 26 October 2022. EnergyCo will review any feedback received during the exhibition period before the Minister declares the final Hunter-Central Coast REZ later this year.
LOCATION - A stylised map of the draft geographical area of the REZ is copied above for reference. It includes the existing 132 kV, 330 kV and 500 kV transmission infrastructure near and in the REZ as a geographical reference.
CAPACITY - The Registration of Interest for the Hunter-Central Coast REZ identified over 2 gigawatts of generation from onshore wind and solar generation projects located in the Upper Hunter near Muswellbrook. The initial intended network capacity of 1 gigawatt would be sufficient to cater for the expected generation in this area given the variable nature of wind and solar energy generation.
The Hunter-Central Coast REZ intended network capacity of 1 gigawatt does not include the Hunter Transmission Project which would deliver up to 8 gigawatts of additional transfer capacity from inland REZs to support the decarbonisation of existing industries (such as Tomago Aluminium) and the growth of emerging technologies (such as hydrogen).
INFRASTRUCTURE - The NSW Government have consulted with network planners, including the Australian Energy Market Operator, Transgrid and Ausgrid to specify the network infrastructure that makes up the REZ. In summary, this is:
- Planned, new and existing network infrastructure in the specified geographical area
- The Sydney Ring transmission network infrastructure project is not specified network infrastructure for the purposes of this declaration. The northern part of the Sydney Ring project is named the Hunter Transmission Project and may include the Waratah Super Battery and related upgrades.
NEXT STEPS - Feedback closes on Wednesday 26 October 2022.
You can contact the Hunter-Central Coast REZ team to provide feedback or sign up to the mailing list via firstname.lastname@example.org.