The Hunter and Central Coast regions are projected to continue as the energy powerhouse of NSW, according to the interest received for the Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).
The results showed that over $100 billion of potential investment and a commercial interest in renewable generation and storage projects representing almost 40 gigawatts.
“These results show that energy investors see the Hunter and Central Coast as some of the best investment destinations anywhere in the country, which will translate into jobs and prosperity for the region,” Treasurer and Energy minister Matt Kean said.
“Renewable Energy Zones are vital to ensuring the future reliability and affordability of electricity in NSW as traditional coal fired power stations close down over the coming decades.”
Commercial interest has been registered in:
- 24 solar energy projects;
- 13 onshore and seven offshore wind energy projects;
- 35 large-scale batteries; and
- eight pumped hydro projects.
Together, these projects have the potential to deliver over 100,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy a year – equivalent to the annual output of up to 10 coal fired power stations.
The results of the registration of interest showed that the region is set to reap the jobs and investment rewards from the transformation of the energy system, parliamentary secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch said.
“The REZ will not only attract investment in clean energy, it will also underpin the growth of new low carbon industries such as green hydrogen, ammonia and metals production which the world is going to need as it decarbonises,” Crouch said.
The renewable energy zone provides a boost to the region and sets up the state to be an economic and energy superpower.
“The Hunter-Central Coast region is the perfect location for a new REZ as it has good renewable energy resources, access to transmission, transport and port infrastructure, and most importantly, a highly skilled workforce,” member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell said.
The response to the Hunter-Central Coast REZ continues the huge market interest in the Renewable Energy Zones that are being developed across NSW, following earlier processes in the Central West Orana, New England and Southwest regions which have attracted a combined 95 gigawatts of interest.
The Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo) is in the early stages of planning the Hunter-Central Coast REZ and will be using this information to inform the timing, capacity and boundaries of the Hunter-Central Coast REZ.
EnergyCo will be engaging closely with industry, local government, local communities and other stakeholders as it progresses the design and delivery of the REZ.
It is expected that the Hunter-Central Coast REZ will be formally declared under the NSW government’s Electricity Roadmap legislation by mid-2022.
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