The New South Wales 2022-23 Budget is allotting $1.2 billion to fast-track the construction of Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) needed to replace existing power stations.

This funding is part of the state’s efforts to accelerate critical energy infrastructure over the next decade.

New South Wales Treasurer and Minister for Energy, Matt Kean, said the Transmission Acceleration Facility will fast-track the REZs by funding the development stages of transmission and other infrastructure.

“REZs are modern-day power stations, providing cheap and clean power for the homes and businesses of New South Wales,” Mr Kean said.

“This is New South Wales’ largest investment in infrastructure for renewable energy and is expected to help create 2,700 direct construction jobs across the state.

“We estimate the facility will drive at least $14 billion in private transmission infrastructure investment, with all government contributions to be fully recovered.

“Energy prices are up because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and unplanned outages at coal-fired power stations. 

“Fast-tracking the construction of renewable energy is the best way to reduce our exposure to these risks and take advantage of cleaner, cheaper power sources.”

There are over 50 large-scale renewable energy projects totalling around 16,000MW currently progressing through the New South Wales planning system.

However, many of these projects may never proceed without additional capacity across the state’s transmission network.

“The Facility is a critical step in unlocking the new generation needed to improve competition, lower power prices and secure a brighter future for households and business,” Mr Kean said.

The facility will be delivered by the Government’s Energy Corporation of New South Wales and will fund development activities for new transmission projects to deliver the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap. 

The development funding is expected to be recovered and recycled into new projects.

The first investment under the Facility will be the Waratah Super Battery, the largest standby network battery in the Southern Hemisphere.

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