The New South Wales government has received bids for over 5.5GW worth of wind and solar generation projects and over 2.5GW of storage systems as its Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap attracts industry attention.
The roadmap was introduced in 2020 under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act, and covers a 20-year plan to deliver renewable energy zones (REZs) where red tape and licensing times will be cut for renewables transmission infrastructure.
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“This is an overwhelming response from the market and a strong endorsement of the roadmap’s vision for the NSW electricity system,” said NSW energy minister Matt Kean. “Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the resulting global energy crisis has added extra impetus to modernise our electricity system. The need for new sources of electricity generation that are not tied to the volatility of global commodity prices has never been greater.”
The bids are yet to be assessed by the New South Wales consumer trustee, AEMO services, where they’ll be either approved or rejected based on criteria including community engagement, land-use opportunities and regional economic development.
“These tenders have been specifically designed to identify the best projects to bring quality energy to market in the earliest possible timeframe,” Mr Kean said.
This quantity of bids is by no means the highest the state government has received. In August, it received 17GW worth of bids for the Illawarra REZ, and in February 40GW of applications were made for the Hunter-Central coast REZ.
Kean added: “The level of investment we are facilitating in the NSW energy system is unprecedented, which is why these tenders will run every six months for at least the next ten years.”