NSW seeks renewables, energy storage interest for latest Renewable Energy Zone

A 53MW solar plant from utility AGL in New South Wales. Image: AGL Energy.

The Government of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, has opened an online registration of interest process as it seeks bidders for the country’s latest Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) to enter the planning phase.

Last week the Energy Corporation of NSW, the government-operated body established to lead on delivery of the REZs, opened a four-week window during which energy generation, load, storage and network developers can declare their interest in being part of the South-West REZ, building on similar programmes for two other REZ in the state.

The South-West REZ is to be located to the west of the city of Wagga Wagga and straddle the state’s border with Victoria. Its location and design has been slightly amended since its original plan in 2018, now taking up more land and extending as far west as Buronga.

The location, the NSW Government said, had been picked due to an “abundance of high-quality solar and other energy resources, proximity to project EnergyConnect, relative land-use compatibility and a strong pipeline of proposed projects”. 

The borders of the REZ could yet be refined further pending the results of the ROI, alongside the REZ’s size, capacity and timing.

Relevant parties can submit their interest via the online form here. Submissions are open until 24 November 2021.

REZs in Australia, and in particular in NSW, have proven phenomenally popular with solar developers looking to take advantage of the streamlined grid connection process and other purported benefits. The last REZ to formally open for generation bids attracted 34GW of proposals, equivalent to being more than four-times oversubscribed.

A feature article exploring the use of REZs in Australia and their use in attracting solar investment into the country was included within volume 27 of PV Tech Power and can be read in full here.

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