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

Australia’s most coal power dependent state, New South Wales, has mapped out its latest designated renewable energy zone, the New England REZ, which will host a massive 8GW of wind, solar and storage projects.

The NSW Coalition government produced the map as part of its “draft declaration” of the New England REZ, a key part of the regulatory and legal process required for completion before tenders and auctions can get underway.

An earlier expression of interest for the new REZ, which sits to the north-east of Tamworth, indicated there would be strong participation in any future auction, with more than 34GW of proposals tendered by wind, solar and storage developers.

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, which currently sits at more than 10GW, with most plants scheduled to close within the decade.

The government’s draft declaration confirms that the newly created EnergyCo NSW will be the infrastructure planner for the New England REZ, and will assess and recommend network infrastructure projects and manage community concerns.

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).”