The NSW Government has announced a $1.2 billion commitment to renewable energy infrastructure, the single largest investment in clean energy in the state’s history.

NSW Minister for Energy Matt Kean announced the Transmission Acceleration Facility funding – to be included in this month’s budget – last week, which will fast-track the construction of transmission infrastructure projects to deliver cheaper and more reliable power.

The $1.2 billion revolving facility will unlock at least $14 billion in private transmission projects that are currently under development in NSW, which will help to deliver more than 50 large-scale renewable energy projects that boast a combined capacity of 16GW.

The first of these projects to benefit from the financial pledge is the Waratah Super Battery (similar to concept image above) on the NSW Central Coast, which is set to be the largest standby network battery in the southern hemisphere.

“During the past several years, the NSW Government has taken a leading role in Australia’s clean energy transition through its Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap and renewable energy zones,” says Clean Energy Council director of external affairs Arron Wood.

“The Clean Energy Council has worked closely and collaboratively with the NSW Government and relevant agencies to help expedite this important reform.

“This announcement of investment to accelerate transmission is another example of the fantastic work being done in NSW to advance Australia’s clean energy future.

“As coal power stations come offline, it’s investments such as the Transmission Acceleration Facility that will help us plug into renewable energy projects that will lower power prices, create jobs, keep the lights on and reduce our emissions.

“At a time when energy prices are at near-record highs, they will also help to alleviate the factors that have caused the current energy crisis, and avoid them reoccurring in the future.”

Investment in transmission is vital to accelerating the deployment of renewable energy in Australia.

“Getting transmission right is crucial to providing developers with the certainty they need to begin making the considerable investments in renewable energy and storage required to decarbonise our electricity system,” says Wood.

Energy Networks Australia also welcomes the NSW Government’s transmission funding announcement.

“The recent energy shortages and huge wholesale price increases have highlighted the importance of a more connected energy grid that can deliver more power to meet demand,” says Energy Networks Australia acting CEO Tamatha Smith.

“Renewable generation is the cheapest generation, but our grid is congested, much like a freeway without enough lanes. More transmission will enable cheap, clean electricity to flow where it’s needed.”