NSW announces milestone in renewable energy network

The NSW government has announced a milestone in its plan to establish renewable energy zones across the state as coal-fired power stations retire, with the lodging of an EIS to connect the Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) to the electricity grid.

The state government is also planning REZs the New England, South-West, Hunter-Central Coast and Illawarra regions. Central West Orana is the first REZ to reach this point.

The 20,000 square metre Central West Orana REZ, centred around Dubbo, Dunedoo and Mudgee, will deliver enough wind and solar power to provide energy to 1.4 million homes, the government says.

Plans for the Central-West Orana Rez (Image: NSW Government)

Environment Minister Penny Sharpe says that amounts to a quarter of the state’s energy demand, as well as storage capacity.

“It shows the NSW Government is getting the roadmap to renewables back on track, so we can ensure there is enough renewable energy to replace aging coal-fired power stations,” she said in a statement.

“The Central-West Orana transmission project will be capable of connecting at least 3GW of renewable energy generated by wind and solar projects, which is enough to power a quarter of the state’s energy demand, as well as another 2GW of firming storage.”

The EIS is on public display at the NSW Planning Portal for the next four weeks.

EnergyCo, which is leading the development of the REZ transmission network infrastructure, is running a competitive tender process to appoint an operator to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the REZ transmission network.

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