New South Wales, Renewable Energy, Sustainability

NSW Renewable Energy Zone transmission project gets approval

NSW has reached a significant milestone in the renewable energy rollout, with the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) transmission project securing planning approval.

This is the first REZ in Australia to achieve this critical step, paving the way for the construction of essential transmission infrastructure to connect large-scale solar, wind, and energy storage projects to the electricity grid.

The project is expected to drive up to $20 billion in private investment in solar, wind, and energy storage projects, supporting around 5,000 jobs during peak construction.

Minister for planning and public spaces, Paul Scully, said the approval is a huge step in moving toward our clean energy future.

“Planning approval for the Central-West Orana REZ transmission project is a huge step forward in progressing 12 gigawatts of generation under the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap and moving towards our clean energy future,” said Scully.

“If done right, this energy generation transition will develop a wave of new industry and jobs. That means transmission jobs, manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, and maintenance jobs.”

The Central-West Orana REZ is a key initiative under the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap to deliver clean, affordable, and reliable energy to households and businesses across the state.

The project has the potential to deliver at least 4.5 gigawatts of transmitted electricity, which is equivalent to powering 1.8 million homes.

Planning approval of transmission lines will mean work can begin on the construction and operation of around 240 km of lines and supporting infrastructure within the Central West Orana REZ.

This transmission infrastructure is critical to NSW’s renewable energy future.

It is set to connect multiple major renewable energy projects to the grid, to pump cleaner, affordable power to homes and businesses across the state.

To proceed with planning approval, the NSW Government assigned nearly 100 approval conditions to support the rollout of the transmission project.

The Central-West Orana REZ is approximately 20,000 km², and takes in cities and towns including Dubbo, Dunedoo, and Mudgee.

Construction works are expected from late 2024, with initial operation anticipated in 2028.

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