NSW Government begins formalisation of New England Renewable Energy Zone
The NSW Government declares Australia's second Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in as many months.
The modern-day equivalent of a power station, a REZ combines low cost renewables with back-up energy from storage and transmission to deliver cheap, reliable and clean energy.
The declaration for New England REZ is the first step in formalising the REZ under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020. It sets out the intended network capacity (size), geographical area (location) and infrastructure that will make up the REZ.
The Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo NSW) will be the infrastructure planner and will coordinate generation, firming, storage and transmission projects, leading the delivery of NSW REZs.
EnergyCo NSW CEO, James Hay, said the NSW Government has committed to invest $78.9 million to support the development of the New England REZ through the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap. This follows the declaration of the Central-West Orana in early November 2021.
"New England has some of the best natural energy resources in the country, including some of the state's best potential sites for pumped-hydro and strong investor interest."
"The New England REZ will drive $10.7 billion in private investment, around 830 operational jobs, as well as 1250 construction jobs each year. The REZ will help drought-proof traditional farming communities and provide new income streams for landholders that host electricity infrastructure."
"It is estimated that in the New England REZ, this could amount to around $660 million in lease payments for landholders to 2042."
Mr Hay said EnergyCo NSW has and will continue to work with a range of stakeholders in the New England region to deliver the REZ in a way that considers local priorities and values, land use planning, investor interest and the legislative requirements.
"REZs will also play a key role in delivering on our commitment to halve the State's emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050."