Following two years of technical studies and community consultation, the Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in NSW has achieved a major milestone with the lodgement of an Environmental Impact Statement for a transmission project that will connect the zone to the electricity grid.
It is the first REZ in Australia to reach this stage of development.
The Central West Orana REZ is approximately 20,000 square kilometres and takes in cities and towns such as Dubbo, Dunedoo and Mudgee. Once complete, it will deliver at least 3GW of transmitted electricity – enough to power 1.4 million homes.
The transmission and generation projects in the Central West Orana REZ will deliver up to $10 billion in private investment to the region and 5000 jobs during the peak of construction.
The Environmental Impact Statement has been lodged by EnergyCo, the NSW statutory authority managing the roll out of the state’s REZs.
It’s technical studies and community consultation included detailed assessment of potential impacts on visual amenity, agriculture, roads, noise, biodiversity, water resources and cumulative impacts on community infrastructure and services such as housing supply and health services.
“The lodgement of the Environmental Impact Statement demonstrates our commitment to ensuring NSW households, businesses and industry can access clean, affordable and reliable energy as coal-fired power stations retire,” says NSW Minister for Energy Penny Sharpe.
“It shows the NSW Government is getting the roadmap to renewables back on track so we can ensure there is enough renewable energy to replace ageing coal-fired power stations.
“The Central West Orana transmission project will be capable of connecting at least 3GW of renewable energy generated by wind and solar projects, which is enough to power a quarter of the state’s energy demand, as well as another 2GW of firming storage.
“We will be working closely with communities through the Environmental Impact Statement process.”
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment will publicly exhibit the Environmental Impact Statement until Thursday, 26 October, 2023.