Project

NSW Renewable Energy Zones

PROJECT STATUS
Announced
NSW Renewable Energy Zones

The NSW Government has committed to develop five Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) in the state, beginning with a pilot Central-West Orana REZ, before additional zones are added in the South-West, New England, Illawarra and Hunter-Central Coast regions.

The REZs are intended to encourage investment in renewable generation and storage projects. These will need to be supported by transmission upgrades, which the NSW Government expects to support in line with the 2018 NSW Transmission Infrastructure Strategy.

The NSW Government estimates that the REZs could foster up to $20.7 billion in investment in the five regions. This estimated investment is not reflected in ANZIP's forward pipeline. Individual investments within the REZs will be tracked through ANZIP as they are planned, developed and delivered.

Key Dates

Nov 2020 Project Announcement
2022 Expected commencement of first auction for REZ projects

Funding contributions

NSW Government

The NSW Government's contribution is to develop the REZ, including the establishment of the Energy Corporation of NSW, which will coordinate development of the REZ.

The 2021-22 NSW Budget allocated a total of $380 million to deliver the roadmap, including $164 million over four years for capital works.

PROJECT HISTORY

Nov 2020 The NSW Government released its Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, outlining the steps required to support the transition of the electricity system to a much higher level of renewable generation. The Roadmap highlights the need to coordinate investment into generation, transmission and storage infrastructure in NSW over the next 20 years as coal-fired power stations reach their scheduled retirement.
Jun 2021 The 2021-22 NSW Budget allocated a total of $380 million to deliver the roadmap, including $164 million over four years for capital works.
Nov 2021 The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) was appointed the regulator of the NSW Renewable Energy Zones under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (NSW). The AER will be required to make five-year revenue determinations for network infrastructure projects authorised by the independent Consumer Trustee for each REZ.
Jun 2022 Registrations of Interest for renewable generation and storage projects in the Illawarra REZ opened, closing 22 July. Separately, the NSW Government called for Expressions of Interest for Commercial Advisory Services for the project, closing 17 June.
Sep 2023 EnergyCo and Transport for NSW (TfNSW) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the delivery of upgrades to the NSW road network to support anticipated transport requirements during the construction of Renewable Energy Zones.
Sector
Energy
Procurement approach
Unconfirmed |
Location
New South Wales |
Resources
Media releases
2020/11/09
2021/11/15
20230905
Project pages
Energy NSW
Major Contract

NSW Illawarra REZ

PROJECT STATUS
Under Procurement
NSW Illawarra REZ

The Illawarra Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) has a proposed capacity of one gigawatt of renewable energy generation. The REZ will be located in the area surrounding Wollongong to Dapto and the Shellharbour LGA.

The Federal Government has announced a potential Commonwealth Offshore Wind Project off the coast of the Illawarra which may utilise the transmission infrastructure constructed as part of this REZ. 

 

 

 

Key Dates

Jun 2022 ROIs for generator and storage projects in the REZ opened.
Jul 2022 ROIs for generator and storage projects in the REZ closed.

Procurement

Procuring Agency: EnergyCo

PROJECT HISTORY

Jun 2022 Registrations of Interest (ROIs) opened for renewable generation and storage projects in the REZ, closing on 22 July.
Aug 2022 The NSW Government revealed 44 registered projects, with the potential for 17 GW of energy generation and storage capacity.
Dec 2022 A draft declaration was placed on exhibition, closing on 6 February 2023.
Feb 2023 The REZ was formally declared by the NSW Minister for Energy, confirming the intended location and capacity.
Sector
Energy
Procurement approach
Unconfirmed |
Location
New South Wales |
Resources
Government resources
Formal declaration
Project pages
EnergyCo
Major Contract

NSW Hunter-Central Coast REZ

PROJECT STATUS
Under Procurement
NSW Hunter-Central Coast REZ

The Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) has an intended capacity of one gigawatt of renewable energy generation. The REZ is to be developed in the region between and around Muswellbrook and Newcastle, and the northern areas of the Central Coast.

The capacity of the REZ is expected to increase over time with the retirement of coal-fired power stations, re-purposing of mining land, and the growth of offshore wind.  

The Federal Government has identified a potential Commonwealth Offshore Wind Area off the coast of the Hunter which may utilise the transmission infrastructure constructed as part of the REZ.

 

 

Key Dates

Dec 2021 ROIs for the development of projects in the REZ opened.
Feb 2022 ROIs for the development of projects in the REZ closed.

Procurement

Procuring Agency: EnergyCo

PROJECT HISTORY

Dec 2021 EnergyCo NSW opened Registrations of Interest for generation and storage projects, and network development projects in the REZ, closing on the 4th of February 2022.
Feb 2022 The NSW Government announced that 24 solar energy projects, 13 onshore and seven offshore wind energy projects, 35 large-scale batteries, and eight pumped hydro projects were received during the ROIs process, amounting to 40 gigawatts.
Dec 2022 The NSW Government formally declared the Hunter Central-Coast REZ and established EnergyCo as the Infrastructure Planner. The declaration confirmed the scope of the geographical area from the Upper Hunter to Cessnock, Maitland, Newcastle, and Lake Macquarie.
Oct 2023 EnergyCo has called for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) to engage large scale renewable energy generator and storage project developers as Generator Design Partners for the early design and development phases of the REZ. EOIs close 27 November.
Sector
Energy
Procurement approach
Unconfirmed |
Location
New South Wales |
Resources
Project website
EnergyCo Project Website
Media releases
2022/02/16
Tender notices
Generator Design Partners
Project pages
Waratah Super Battery
Major Contract

NSW Central-West Orana REZ

PROJECT STATUS
Under Procurement
NSW Central-West Orana REZ

The Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) is the first REZ established by the NSW Government. It will cover is approximately 20,000 square kilometres and will be located between Wellington, Dunnedo and Merriwa in NSW.

The REZ will initially include three energy hubs with potential for a fourth. It has an intended network capacity of six gigawatts by 2038.

 

Key Dates

May 2020 ROIs for the development of projects in the REZ opened.
Jun 2020 ROIs for the development of projects in the REZ closed.
Dec 2022 Construction of projects in the REZ expected to commence.
Apr 2024 Access Rights Application Process opens
Apr 2024 Access Rights Application Part 1 (eligibility) submissions close
May 2024 Access Rights Application Part 2 (merit) submissions close

Funding contributions

NSW Government

The NSW Government's contribution is to develop the REZ, including the establishment of the Energy Corporation of NSW, which will coordinate the development of the REZ.

In October 2023, $128 million of funding from the Transmission Acceleration Fund was provided to communities int he Central-West Orana REZ. This funding is not for energy infrastrucutre but rather community benefits such as public infrastructure upgrades, housing and accomodatino, or health and education. 

Procurement

Procuring Agency: Energy Corporation of NSW
Tenderers (EOI/ROI): Registrations of Interest opened for proponents of potential renewable energy and energy storage projects in the region to provide an indication of the scale, location and types of projects being considered for the REZ.
Related contracts:
Central-West Orana Preferred Network Operator
Successful Tenderer - ACEREZ, a consortium comprised of ACCIONA, COBRA and Endeavour Energy.

PROJECT HISTORY

May 2020 Registrations of Interest for renewable generation and storage projects in the REZ opened, closing on 5 June.
Jun 2020 The NSW Government revealed 113 Registrations of Interest were received, with proposals representing an estimated 27 gigawatts of total capacity.
Mar 2021 The NSW Government released the Central-West Orana REZ Access Scheme Issues Paper for public consultation. The Paper identifies the key features of the REZ's transmission project.
Oct 2021 The Central-West Orana REZ was formally declared by the Minister for Energy and Environment under section 19(1) of the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020. The original declaration specified a network capacity of 3GW.
Nov 2021 The formal declaration of the Central-West Orana REZ was published in the NSW Gazette.
May 2023 The NSW Government released the Network Infrastructure Strategy, a 20-year strategy for the practical coordination of NSW network infrastructure to connect new generation and storage in NSW’s five Renewable Energy Zones, and meet the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 objectives. The Strategy identified a need to increase network capacity in the Central-West Orana REZ and recommended options to increase the network capacity of the Central-West Orana REZ from 3 GW up to 4.5 GW initially under Stage 1, and to 6 GW by 2038 under Stage 2.
Sep 2023 The NSW Government invited Open Tenders for a REZ Network Infrastructure Technical Advisor for the project, closing 3 October. The successful tenderer will be for technical engineering support and design for the project.
Dec 2023 The government announced that the REZ declaration has been amended to increase the intended network capacity to 6 gigawatt (GW) from 3GW.
Apr 2024 EnergyCo published draft guidelines for applicants seeking Central-West Orana REZ access rights. These draft guidelines detail how EnergyCo will invite, accept and assess applications for access rights and set out eligibility criteria.
Apr 2024 EnergyCo announced that the Central-West Orana REZ access rights application process had opened, with Part 1 (eligibility) submissions closing on 29 April and Part 2 (merit) submissions closing on 24 May 2024.
Major Contract

NSW New England REZ

PROJECT STATUS
Under Procurement
NSW New England REZ

The New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) has a proposed capacity of 8,000 megawatts of generation. The REZ is to be located  in the New England region, centred around Armidale. 

The scope of works for each stage of the network expansion is yet to be identified. 

 

Key Dates

Jun 2021 ROIs for the development of projects in the REZ opened.
Jul 2021 ROIs for the development of projects in the REZ closed.
Sep 2022 EOIs for generator and storage projects in the REZ opened.
Oct 2022 EOIs for generator and storage projects in the REZ closed.
Jul 2031 Expected construction commencement of projects in the REZ.
Jul 2036 Expected construction completion of projects in the REZ.

Funding contributions

Federal Government
NSW Government

The Federal Government's contribution comes through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to TransGrid to support a $3.5 million feasibility study into the potential development of new transmission capacity.

PROJECT HISTORY

Nov 2019 The REZ was outlined in the NSW Government's 2019 Electricity Strategy, identifying its proximity to the existing interconnector between NSW and Queensland, numerous potential pumped hydro sites and significant wind resources as key factors determining the REZ's location.
Jul 2020 The NSW Government announced it will proceed with the REZ and in its 2020 Integrated System Plan, AEMO identified New England REZ network expansion as a critical project.
Jun 2021 The NSW Government commenced a Registration of Interest process for existing and proposed generation, storage and network infrastructure projects in the New England region to inform the next stage of design, closing 23 July.
Aug 2021 The NSW Government announced 80 ROIs were received, totaling 34 gigawatts of potential renewable energy projects. The first auction for renewable energy projects across the NSW REZs is expected in 2022.
Sep 2022 EnergyCo opened an Expression of Interest to identify and select generator and storage projects for the New England REZ, closing on 4 October.
Aug 2023 EnergyCo opened a Request for Tender for a Site Management Services provider, closing 18 September.
Mar 2024 EnergyCo opened a Request for Tender for a Road Upgrade advisor, closing on 28 March.
Mar 2024 Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo) opened a Request for Tender for financial advisory services to assist with with the procurement of a Network Operator, closing on 4 April.
Mar 2024 Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo) opened a Request for Tender for financial advisory services to assist with with the procurement of a Land Survey Advisor, closing on 22 April.
Major Contract

NSW Central-West Orana REZ Transmission Project

PROJECT STATUS
Awarded
NSW Central-West Orana REZ Transmission Project

The proposed transmission project aims to support the delivery of the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).

The project will include a two 500 kV double circuits between Wollar and Merotherie, and new 330 kV lines to new energy hubs at Elong Elong, Uarbry East and Uarbry West. The project will deliver an extra 4.5 gigawatts of capacity and includes 90 kilometres of 500 kV lines and 150 kilometres of 330 kV lines.

The full scope of the project is below: 

  • New Merotherie 500/330 kV substation
  • New 330 kV Uarbry East, Uarbry West, Elong Elong switching stations
  • New 500 kV Wollar switching station
  • New 330 kV Uungula switching station
  • 2 x 500 kV DCST line from Wollar to Merotherie
  • 1 x 330 kV DCST from Merotherie to Uarbry East
  • 1 x 330 kV DCST from Merotherie to Uarbry West
  • 2 x 500 kV DCST and initially operated at 330 kV from Merotherie to Elong Elong
  • 1 x 330 kV DCST from Elong Elong to Uungula
  • 5 x 100 MVAr synchronous condensers at Elong Elong switching station
  • 5 x 100 MVAr synchronous condensers at Merotherie substation
  • 2 x 100 MVAr synchronous condensers at Uarbry West switching station
  • 3 x 100 MVAr synchronous condensers at Uarbry East switching station
  • An additional 330 kV SCST line from Bayswater to Liddell, and
  • An additional 330 kV SCST line from Mt Piper to Wallerawang

Transmission upgrades will be required to support the increase in renewable generation and storage in the REZ. 

 

 

Key Dates

Apr 2023 Preferred Bidder Selection
Apr 2023 Contract Award
Dec 2023 Commitment Deed
2024 Expected Construction Commencement
Aug 2028 Expected Construction Completion

Funding contributions

Federal Government

The Federal Government, through ARENA, has committed $5 million towards a $16.2 million feasibility study, to be undertaken by TransGrid, which will assess the technical and commercial options for the development of new high voltage transmission lines to enable the REZ.

Procurement

Shortlist: Network Operator Shortlist: - ACE Energy comprising ACCIONA, Cobra and Endeavour Energy - Network REZolution comprising Pacific Partnerships, UGL, CPB and APA Group - NewGen Networks comprising Plenary, Elecnor, Essential Energy and SecureEnergy
Successful Tenderer: The ACEREZ consortium comprising ACCIONA, COBRA and Endeavour Energy.
Adviser (Tenderer): Capella Capital

PROJECT HISTORY

Jun 2020 On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) committed $5 million in funding to TransGrid to conduct a detailed feasibility study for the project.
Jul 2020 In its 2020 Integrated System Plan, AEMO identified the Central-West Orana REZ Transmission Project as a critical project and provided updated costings for the project. The ISP estimates that the transmission project component of the Central-West Orana REZ has a cost of between $450 million and $850 million, with a modelled cost of $650 million.
Dec 2020 The Central-West Orana REZ Transmission Project was declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure by the New South Wales Government.
Mar 2021 The NSW Government released the Central-West Orana REZ Access Scheme Issues Paper for public consultation. The Paper identifies the key features of the REZ's transmission project.
Sep 2021 TransGrid submitted a Scoping Report and requested the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements for the Wollar Substation upgrade project.
Oct 2021 The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment issued Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for the Wollar Substation upgrade portion of the project.
Sep 2022 The scoping report for the project was released and a request for SEARs for the transmission portion of the project was made.
Oct 2022 SEARs were issued for the project.
Apr 2023 EnergyCo selected ACE Energy, comprising ACCIONA, Endeavour Energy and Cobra, as the preferred bidderr for the project. The consortium will design, finance, build, operate, and maintain the REZ network infrastructure through an Availability-based Public Private Partnership-like contract.
May 2023 EnergyCo opened a Registration of Interest (ROI) for Independent Certifier Services for the project, closing 30 May.
May 2023 The NSW Network Infrastructure Strategy for NSW, published by EnergyCo, provided an updated scope and cost for the project. The project, which was previously modeled at a cost of $600 million in the 2020 ISP, now has an estimated cost of $3.2 billion and a delivery date of 2027/28. Additional future options were also released including a new 330 kV circut from Uungula to Burrdendong A, and a new 500 kV circuit from Uungula to Tooraweenah.
Sep 2023 The NSW Department of Planning and Environment placed the project's Environmental Impact Statement on public exhibition, closing 26 October.
Dec 2023 The New South Wales Government Energy Corporation (EnergyCo) entered into a ‘commitment deed’ with the ACEREZ consortium to deliver and operate the project. The commitment deed enables the consortium to seek approval to design, finance, build, operate, and maintain the REZ network infrastructure over the next 35 years.
Jan 2024 EnergyCo announced it will accelerate the application process to allocate the initial tranche of access rights for generators seeking access to the new Central-West Orana REZ network commencing in Q1 2024. The NSW Government is implementing reforms to enable EnergyCo to establish and administer the expedited process prior to financial close of the REZ transmission project this year. For future allocations of access rights, the NSW Government intends to use a tender process run by AEMO Services.
May 2024 A scoping report was published and a request for Secretary’s environmental assessment requirements (SEARs) was issued for the Mount Piper to Wallerawang section of the NSW Central-West Orana REZ Transmission Project.
Major Contract

NSW South West REZ

PROJECT STATUS
Under Procurement
NSW South West REZ

The South West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) has a proposed capacity of 2.5 gigawatts of new renewable generation and storage capacity. The REZ is to be developed around Hay, stretching from the Murrumbidgeee LGA in the east to Buronga in the west, in the South-West Region of NSW.

It is anticipated that the 500kV eastern section of Project EnergyConnect (between Dinawan and Wagga Wagga) and HumeLink will provide transmission support.

Key Dates

Oct 2021 ROIs Open
Nov 2021 ROIs for generator and storage projects in the REZ closed.
May 2024 RFT for Access Rights and LTESA for Long Duration Storage opened
Jun 2024 RFT for Access Rights and LTESA for Long Duration Storage close

Procurement

Procuring Agency: EnergyCo

PROJECT HISTORY

Nov 2019 The REZ was outlined in the NSW Government's 2019 Electricity Strategy, identifying its proximity to existing transmission infrastructure, the Snowy Hydro Scheme and potential options for new interconectors between New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia as key factors determining the REZ's location.
Oct 2021 EnergyCo NSW opened Registrations of Interest for generation and storage project in the REZ, closing on 24 November.
Sep 2022 Project EnergyConnect (NSW - Eastern Section) received planning approval from NSW Government.
Nov 2022 The NSW Government formerly declared the scope of the REZ, which would extend from Buronga to Hay. NSW Government received 49 ROIs representing 34 gigawatts from potential generation and storage projects (more than 13 times the intended 2.5 gigawatt capacity).
Apr 2024 The South West REZ was formerly declared by the Minister for Energy.
May 2024 AEMO Services announced that the NSW Roadmap tender for South West REZ Access Rights and Long-Term Energy Service Agreements for Long-Duration Storage were scheduled to commence on 22 May, closing on 7 June. The tender will seek an indicative one-GW of Long-Duration Storage for projects connecting into existing network infrastructure or access rights networks in the Central-West Orana and South West REZs; and to allocate up to an initial 3.98 GW of Access Rights in the South West REZ.
Sector
Energy
Procurement approach
Unconfirmed |
Location
New South Wales |
Resources
Infrastructure agency resources
Capacity Investment Scheme Generation in the NEM
Major Contract

NSW New England REZ Transmission Project

PROJECT STATUS
Prospective
NSW New England REZ Transmission Project

The New England Transmission Project is a proposed 500 kV link between central and northern NSW, connecting the New England REZ. It will have a transfer capacity of three gigawatts.

There are a number of proposed projects for the New England REZ transmission connection. This page relates to the confirmed project corridor known as the New England Transmission Project that is being studied and will run from Baysworth in the south to the New England REZ near Armidale in the north. 

Future stages of the project may include a 330 kV New England REZ Extension, and augmentations.

The details of the scope of this project is subject to ongoing consultation with EnergyCo.

Key Dates

Jul 2020 Project Announcement

Funding contributions

Federal Government
NSW Government

The Federal Government's contribution comes through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to TransGrid to support a $3.45 million feasibility study into the potential development of new transmission capacity.

PROJECT HISTORY

Jul 2020 In its 2020 Integrated System Plan, AEMO identified New England REZ network expansion as a critical project and provided updated costings for Stages One and Two of the transmission component. Stage One of the transmission component has an estimated cost of between $720 million and $1.3 billion, with a modelled cost of $1.025 billion. Stage Two of the transmission component has an estimated cost of between $220 million and $420 million, with a modelled cost of $320 million.
Oct 2023 APA Group and EDF Group announce they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to bid on the project.
Dec 2023 The project is listed as 'actionable' in the Draft 2024 Integrated Systems Plan. The full capacity timing as advised by the proponent was listed as September 2028 and cost estimates are listed as $1.84 billion ± 50%.
Mar 2024 EnergyCo updated its study corridor for the New England REZ transmission project. The original study corridor included a south hub and was 39 kilometres longer than the revised corridor. The new corridor also includes corridor realignment near Loomberah, Dungowan, Woolomin, and Mulla Creek, as well as realignment between the Central and East hubs.
Estimated Total Cost
(2023)
Sector
Energy
Procurement approach
Confirmed PPP |
Location
New South Wales |
Resources
Project pages
Energy NSW (New England)