Australia’s largest Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) has received more than 80 registrations of interest from potential renewable energy projects.
The projects have the potential to produce an astonishing 34 gigawatts (GW) of energy for the REZ, which is located in New England in north-western NSW.
NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean says the response demonstrates investor confidence in the state’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap. More than four times the level of interest needed to fully build the 8GW REZ has been received.
“The New England REZ is expected to deliver around $10.7 billion in investment, and around 830 operational jobs,” Kean says, “as well as 1,250 construction jobs each year, all while putting downward pressure on electricity prices and providing landowners with new income streams.
“The overwhelming response shows this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to attract enormous investment into regional areas, cementing NSW’s renewable energy future.”
NSW Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall says the level of interest helps ensure the projects benefit the community and maintain high development standards.
“By coordinating REZ development in a strategic way, we can control our own destiny,” he says, “making sure the projects we host work for our community, not just developers.”
The state government has committed some $79 million to the New England REZ, which will take “a number of years” to plan and deliver, according to a release.
The Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo) will use the information gathered so far from potential participants to inform the next stage of REZ design. Participation in the REZ will ultimately be determined through a competitive tender process.