‘Port to REZ’ agreement paves the way for smooth energy transition

EnergyCo has finalised a MoU with Transport for NSW to coordinate State road upgrades between the Port of Newcastle and the Central-West Orana REZ, with upgrades expected to begin late 2024

NSW road

The NSW Government has announced plans to upgrade the state's road network to support the transition to renewable energy. These upgrades are part of the effort to create Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) and will involve collaboration with local communities, councils, and road users during the construction of these zones.

The primary purpose of these road upgrades is to facilitate the transportation of components for renewable energy projects and supporting transmission infrastructure from ports to the REZs. These components include items like wind turbines, towers, and transformers.

To support this initiative, the Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Transport for NSW (TfNSW). The key objectives of this MOU are:

  1. Identifying appropriate transportation corridors for oversized and over-mass (OSOM) components to REZs and priority transmission network infrastructure projects.
  2. Planning, consulting, and undertaking necessary roadworks to ensure that the identified roads can accommodate the transportation requirements.
  3. Developing a strategy and framework for efficiently and safely managing the transportation of OSOM loads along these routes.

This agreement primarily pertains to coordinating and facilitating essential upgrades to the state's road infrastructure where TfNSW holds authority.

EnergyCo chief executive James Hay said EnergyCo will lead consultation with renewable generators, landowners and councils around relevant roadworks.

“The Port to REZ MOU between EnergyCo and TfNSW is another example of how we are taking a whole-of-government and community-focussed approach to delivering a clean, reliable and affordable energy system for the State,” Mr Hay said.

“It complements EnergyCo’s agreement with the Department of Planning to establish dedicated resources for assessment of major energy projects in NSW REZs, and EnergyCo’s partnership with the Port of Newcastle to understand the logistics required to support renewable energy development in NSW.”

Anthony Hayes, the Executive Director of Regional Community and Places at Transport for NSW, stressed the substantial transportation task associated with these renewable energy projects. He emphasized that the agreement would facilitate efficient and collaborative planning with various stakeholders, including government entities, local councils, and communities.

It's worth noting that while the government is taking steps to upgrade the state's road network to support renewable energy projects, individual developers will still be responsible for addressing their specific road haulage requirements and implementing necessary measures to ensure the smooth transportation of OSOM components to their project sites. This collaborative approach aims to minimize the impact on local communities while facilitating the growth of renewable energy infrastructure in NSW.

To read more about NSW Renewable Energy Zones, go to the EnergyCo website here.

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