The New South Wales government has unveiled a $79m plan to develop a Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in the New England region in the north of the state. The 8,000MW REZ is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs and generate enough power for 3.5 million homes.
The main purpose of the REZ is to make strategic transmission upgrades and bring new generators online in areas with strong renewable resources and community support.
“The New England REZ is expected to attract $12.7bn in investment, support 2,000 construction jobs and 1,300 ongoing jobs – all while lowering energy prices and future-proofing the regions,” says NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean says the REZ will be “the biggest power station in the country,” and will transform New England into the power hub of Australia.
“We have to plan where the generation will go, where the wind farm will go and where the storage will go; all in alignment with the community so we have their support,” he says.
“We also have to make sure we plan for the building of transmission to take the electricity generated here to the big markets on the east coast.”
In the first phase of the project, the state government will be working with local councils in the region – including Glen Innes Severn Council – and community members to plot out the building zone and the energy mix involved.
“The New England REZ will be able to power 3.5 million homes and, when coupled with the Central-West Orana REZ, sets the state up to become the number one destination across Australia for renewable energy investment,” Kean says.
NSW’s second REZ will be built in stages and a delivery timetable developed throughout the planning process.
For more information on NSW’s renewable energy zones, click here.