The NSW government has announced a draft declaration of the South-West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), supporting greater investment in solar, wind and storage projects.
The recently published draft would see a fifth formal REZ established in an effort to replace the state’s dependence on coal, this time across NSW’s regional towns of Balranald, Buronga and Hay.
The project is eventually anticipated to house the capacity for 12GW of renewable energy generation, 2GW of energy storage and as much as $32 billion in investments.
The declaration would see EnergyCo NSW being appointed as infrastructure planner for the REZ, tasked with managing investments for renewable energy, storage capacity and crucially, new network infrastructure.
“The Energy Corporation of NSW has worked with a range of stakeholders to prepare the draft declaration in a way that considers local priorities and values, land-use planning, investor interest and legislative requirements,” said the state government in their release of the draft.
EnergyCo NSW would also assess and recommend projects in their role, while also maintaining community support.
“We have worked with a range of stakeholders to prepare the draft declaration in a way that considers local priorities and values, land-use planning, investor interest and the legislative requirements,” the statement added.
The state’s Project EnergyConnect and HumeLink are set to unlock around 2.5GW of transmission capacity in total to support the South-West REZ.
With the construction of up to 2.5GW of network capacity would be supported by the declaration, proving enough support for new investments in renewable projects, including needed network infrastructure to maximise the electricity produced in the zoned and submitted to the grid and create connections to further projects.
EnergyCo was also appointed as the infrastructure planner for the Hunter and Central Coast REZ, with the recent opening of registration of interest process already attracting more than $100 billion of potential investment.
With the formal declaration anticipated for late-2022, the current draft declaration for the South-West Renewable Energy Zone is open to feedback until 22 April 2022.