New South Wales Approves Transmission Project to Enable 4.5 GW of Renewable Energy Capacity

The New South Wales government has granted planning approval for a pivotal initiative aimed at installing new transmission lines to facilitate the delivery of at least 4.5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity.

Known as the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) transmission project, this development will connect large-scale renewable energy facilities to the , catalyzing up to AUD 20 billion (USD 13.36 billion / EUR 12.42 billion) in private investments in , wind, and projects. According to state officials, the approval includes nearly 100 conditions.

The planned infrastructure will span approximately 240 kilometers of new transmission lines, capable of supplying electricity to around 1.8 million homes in the Central-West Orana REZ. Formally designated in November 2021, the REZ covers approximately 20,000 square kilometers and is expected to initially unlock approximately 3 GW of network capacity by the mid-2020s.

During peak construction, the transmission project is projected to create approximately 5,000 jobs. Financial closure for the initiative is targeted for the second half of this year, with construction slated to commence in late 2024. Initial operation of the new transmission lines is anticipated to begin in 2028.

“This is the first REZ Transmission Project in the country to obtain planning approval, paving the way for a significant boost in renewable energy generation to replace aging coal-fired power stations,” commented Minister for Climate Change and Energy .

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