NSW draws up map for massive 8GW renewable energy zone in New England

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The NSW state government has drawn up a map of its proposed New England renewable energy zone that will be host to a massive 8GW of wind, solar and storage projects.

The New England REZ is one of at least five drawn up by NSW as part of its plans to replace the bulk, if not all, of its coal fired generation fleet by 2030. NSW currently has the biggest dependence on coal generation in the country, more than 10GW, but most are scheduled to close within the decade.

The map was produced as part of the “draft declaration” of the New England REZ, one of the key processes it must undertake formalise the regulatory and legal approvals, and to then begin the process of tenders and auctions to get the new renewables and storage built.

The response to an expression of interest for the New England REZ attracted more than 34GW of proposals from wind, solar and storage developers.

It follows an equally strong response to the Central West Orana renewable energy zone, based around bathurst, Orange and Orana, which is seeking just 3GW of new wind, solar and storage but which attracted a phenomenal 27GW of proposals.

The proposed New England REZ is to the north-east of Tamworth (the home of Nationals leaders Barnaby Joyce), but large scale projects are proposed for areas outside the zone, including the Liverpool Plains.

The map, however, is only indicative and can be expanded if needed.

The draft declaration made by the NSW government will confirm that the newly created EnergyCo NSW will be the infrastructure planner, and will assess and recommend network infrastructure projects and, if needed to maintain community support for the REZ.

It will also be charged with “preventing generation or storage projects from connecting in a specified area within the REZ (if those projects have not received development consent).”


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