- EnergyCo NSW has declared its 4th REZ in the form of Hunter-Central Coast REZ
- It will cover Upper Hunter, Muswellbrook, Singleton, Dungog, Cessnock, Maitland, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast areas
- The region is rich in renewable resources and offers significant port, transport infrastructure along with mining land that can be rehabilitated
The New South Wales (NSW) government in Australia has announced its 4th renewable energy zone (REZ) in the form of Hunter-Central Coast REZ, rendering certainty to its realization and opening the way for a competitive solicitation process to be launched.
For the Hunter-Central Coast REZ, the government had received interest for almost 40 GW renewable energy capacity worth $100 billion in February 2022 with interest registered for 24 solar energy projects, 13 onshore wind, 7 offshore wind, 35 large scale batteries and 8 pumped hydro facilities (see 40 GW RE Capacity For NSW REZ).
It will be spread across areas of the Upper Hunter, Muswellbrook, Singleton, Dungog, Cessnock, Maitland, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast, according to the infrastructure planner Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo).
Rich in renewable energy resources, the REZ has significant port and transport infrastructure, a skilled workforce and capability to repurpose existing power stations and rehabilitated mining land.
It believes this REZ will be vital in enabling existing industries to decarbonize with renewable energy supply and support the development of Hunter hydrogen hubs and clean manufacturing precincts powered by clean energy projects.
Along with network operators, EnergyCo will now plan requisite transmission infrastructure to grid connect renewable energy and storage capacity.
NSW has previously declared Central West, New England and South West REZs and for all of these, it has received strong interest from renewable energy developers (see Australia’s NSW Declares 3rd Renewable Energy Zone).