Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap
The NSW Government's Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap is a coordinated framework to deliver a modern electricity system for NSW.
Within 15 years, three quarters of our State’s electricity supply is expected to reach the end of its technical life. Replacing these energy sources and building the infrastructure needed to connect them to our homes and businesses will take years. Action is needed now to ensure NSW consumers have continued access to cheap, clean and reliable electricity.
The global energy transition also represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our State’s industry, particularly in the regions. Acting now could set NSW up to be a global energy superpower.
Building on the 2019 NSW Electricity Strategy and the 2018 NSW Transmission Infrastructure Strategy, the Roadmap is a plan to transition our electricity sector into one that is cheaper, cleaner and more reliable.
Its enabling legislation, the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (NSW) passed both houses of NSW Parliament with strong bi-partisan support. It was enacted into law on 2 December 2020.
Together, the Roadmap and the Act commit the Government to
- declaring five Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) in the Central West Orana, Illawarra, New England, South West and Hunter-Central Coast regions. These Zones will deliver an intended network capacity of 12 gigawatts;
- establishing an Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard to deliver new generation, long duration storage and firming capacity. A Consumer Trustee will be appointed to run competitive processes to offer Long Term Energy Service Agreements while protecting the interests of NSW consumers;
- establishing an Electricity Infrastructure Jobs Advocate and NSW Renewable Energy Sector Board to ensure the use of locally manufactured and supplied goods and services, and maximise the engagement of suitably qualified local workers; and
- establishing a Transmission Development Scheme that will de-risk REZ investment.
The Roadmap is a decisive step towards thriving regions, a revitalised and re-industrialised economy, and better livelihoods for all NSW citizens. It is expected to:
- attract up to $32 billion in private investment for regional energy infrastructure by 2030;
- support an estimated 9,000 jobs, mostly in regional NSW; and
- save around $130 a year on the average NSW household electricity bill and $430 a year on the average small business electricity bill between 2023 and 2040.
The Roadmap will also help NSW deliver on its ambitions to reach net zero emissions by 2050. It will help reduce NSW electricity emissions by 90 million tonnes by 2030.
The Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard (Infrastructure Safeguard) is an investment signal to deliver the new electricity infrastructure NSW needs. The Infrastructure Safeguard provides a framework for technologies to compete and provide the energy services they are best placed to deliver, including:
- REZ generation;
- long duration storage; and
A Consumer Trustee will be appointed to run a competitive process to offer Long Term Energy Services Agreements (LTESAs) to projects on behalf of consumers. To assist the Minister’s decision, the Department is evaluating Consumer Trustee candidates and has recently released an information paper detailing the strategic principles and criteria guiding this evaluation.
The LTESAs will drive investment in projects that align with identified needs and provide investors with certainty. In January, the Department released an information paper on LTESA tender eligibility and timing.
Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) are modern-day power stations. They combine renewable energy generation such as wind and solar, storage such as batteries, and high-voltage poles and wires to deliver energy to the homes, businesses and industries that need it.
The Roadmap sets out a plan to deliver the State’s first five Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) in the State’s Central-West Orana, New England, South-West, Hunter-Central Coast and Illawarra regions.
These REZs will play a vital role in delivering affordable, reliable energy generation to help replace the State’s existing power stations as they come to their scheduled end of operational life.
To find the most up to date information on the REZs, please visit the REZ webpage. You can also enter your contact information on this page to subscribe to email updates.
Regulations will be made to support the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (NSW). The NSW Government expects to consult on draft regulations throughout 2021.
For the latest updates on consultation timings, please refer to Further Information.
A range of different entities will be appointed under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (NSW), including the Renewable Energy Sector Board and Electricity Infrastructure Jobs Advocate.
The Renewable Energy Sector Board’s role is to oversee the operation of the renewable energy sector and the manufacture and construction of infrastructure in the sector. The Minister has appointed the Renewable Energy Sector Board co-chairs and members and the NSW Government has made regulations on the Board’s functions and procedures.
The Board held its first meeting on 5 March 2021. Read more about the appointments to the Board.
The Electricity Infrastructure Jobs Advocate’s purpose is to advise the Minister for Energy and Environment on:
- strategies and incentives to encourage investment, development, workforce development, employment, education and training in the energy sector in the Hunter and Central Coast, Illawarra, Far West and Central West regions of New South Wales; and
- road, rail and port infrastructure required in the regions specified above to promote export opportunities for generation, storage and network technology.
The Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program will provide up to $50 million in grants to developers to assist with the cost of early stage, detailed project feasibility studies for new pumped hydro projects. Program design for the Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program will leverage the existing processes and governance arrangements from the NSW Emerging Energy Program (EEP). The EEP which has already supported four pumped hydro projects. The NSW Government will consult with legal, commercial and technical experts on various elements of the program, including the grant recoverability mechanism with applications to open early in 2021.
To receive further updates on the Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program, please register your interest using the form below and select the option "Yes, I wish to receive specific updates about the Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program." A webpage dedicated to the Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program is also under development.
For additional information on the potential of pumped hydro in NSW, please refer to the Pumped Hydro Roadmap.
The NSW Government places a high priority on consultation and feedback. Input from communities, industry, market participants and other interested stakeholders will be vital as the foundations of the Roadmap are put into place.
To help all our stakeholders understand when Roadmap consultations are expected to occur over the comings months, the Department has released an indicative consultation timeline.
If you wish to be kept informed on the Roadmap’s implementation, and upcoming opportunities to provide feedback, you are encouraged to join the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap mailing list.
Additional information about the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap can be found in the following documents:
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (Overview)
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (Detailed Report)
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap Chart Data
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap: Benefits for Regional NSW
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap: Industry Opportunities enabled by Cheap, Clean and Reliable Electricity
- NAB Weighted Average Cost of Capital report