Renewable Energy Zones
The NSW Government’s Electricity Strategy sets out a plan to deliver three Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) in the State’s Central-West, New England and South-West regions. This builds on the NSW Transmission Infrastructure Strategy and supports the implementation of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan.
The REZ are expected to unlock a significant pipeline of large-scale renewable energy and storage projects, while supporting up to $23 billion of private sector investment in our regions and up to 2,000 construction jobs each year.
The NSW Government is in the early stages of feasibility and planning for the state’s first pilot REZ, which is set to be built in the Central-West.
It will take a number of years to design, develop and build the Central-West Renewable Energy Zone. Construction of a pilot REZ in the Central-West region is expected to begin in 2022, following extensive consultation with local communities.
The REZ will play a vital role in delivering affordable energy to help replace the state’s existing power stations as they retire over the coming decades.
The zones are expected to deliver multiple benefits for NSW, including:
- improving electricity reliability by delivering significant amounts of new energy supply
- increasing affordability by reducing wholesale electricity costs
- supporting emissions reduction by delivering reductions in the electricity sector
- engaging communities by helping them to actively participate in the development of energy infrastructure in their region.
It is expected that a pilot REZ in the Central-West region would unlock up to 3,000 megawatts of new generation by the mid-2020’s and be worth around $4.4 billion in private sector investment once fully developed. This is enough new generation capacity to power around 1.3 million homes. This REZ alone is expected to support 450 construction jobs in the local region.
The Central-West region is the planned location for the first pilot REZ because it benefits from significant existing investment and investor interest, with around 4,500 megawatts of projects either approved or in the planning system, relatively low build costs, and a strong mix of energy resources.
The NSW Government welcomes input from communities, industry and other interested parties to help design and implement the NSW REZ.