NSW commits $1.8 billion to maintain energy supply reliability
The NSW Government has announced a commitment of $1.8 billion to support the state's energy diversification plans.
The newly committed funding aims to address several key concerns regarding the maintenance of reliable and affordable electricity supply whilst moving towards cleaner energy sources.
The main highlights of the government's plan include:
- Energy Security Corporation: The government is establishing the Energy Security Corporation, which will make investments in storage projects. These projects will help bridge gaps in the current energy market and improve the reliability of the electricity network during the transition to renewables. The Corporation may invest in community batteries and virtual power plants to enable households and communities to use locally generated electricity, reducing their reliance on the grid and lowering their power bills.
- Transmission Acceleration Facility: An additional $800 million will be allocated to the Transmission Acceleration Facility. This funding will facilitate the connection of Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) to the grid, accelerating the development of transmission projects and community benefit schemes. The REZ projects are expected to bring significant private investment to the region and create jobs.
- Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone: The government is making investments in the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone, which is the first of its kind in NSW. This zone is anticipated to support thousands of construction jobs and attract billions of dollars in private investment by 2030.
- Hunter Transmission Project and Waratah Super Battery: The funding will also maintain momentum in other planned REZs, including the Hunter Transmission Project and the Waratah Super Battery, ensuring their development continues.
- Recycling Investments: The government plans to recoup investments made through the Transmission Acceleration Facility from private sector developers once the REZ projects reach financial close. These funds will then be reinvested in the facility to support the development of future REZ projects.
- Energy Transition Goals: These investments align with the government's response to the Electricity Supply and Reliability Check-Up and are intended to help achieve the target of 12 gigawatts of new renewable energy generation and 2 gigawatts of long-duration storage by 2030.
- Environmental Impact Statement: The government is taking steps to advance the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone by submitting its Environmental Impact Statement for approval. This marks a significant milestone in the project's development.
"We need to get back on track so that we can produce cleaner, more affordable energy for the people of this state," said Premier Chris Minns.
“We want the state to be able to invest in solutions that ensures reliability in the system, keeps the lights on, and creates new jobs for the state."
Climate Council Head of Advocacy, Dr Jennifer Rayner, was positive.
“This announcement is the next big step forward in what should be a strong push to electrify households and ensure all NSW residents benefit from cheap and abundant renewable energy," Rayner said.
“If the NSW government goes all-in on these initiatives, then it can power past the challenge of phasing out coal from our energy system, and close our biggest coal-fired power station, Eraring, by 2025 as planned.”