“What is a Renewable Energy Zone?

Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) are modern-day power stations. They combine renewable energy generation such as wind and solar, storage such as batteries, and high-voltage poles and wires to deliver energy to the homes, businesses and industries that need it.

By connecting multiple generators and storage in the same location, REZs capitalise on economies of scale to deliver cheap, reliable and clean electricity for homes and businesses in NSW.

The Government-controlled statutory authority the Energy Corporation of NSW (the Energy Corporation) will lead the delivery of NSW REZs.

The Energy Corporation will have a number of key functions, including:

  • Leading community and stakeholder engagement
  • Contributing to strategic, holistic planning for each REZ
  • Administering an access framework for the REZ that delivers benefit to generators
  • Administering a competitive process to coordinate generation in the REZ
  • Coordinating technical design of the REZ in consultation with program partners and generators
  • Promoting local development opportunities, engaging with local community and industry.

Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone pilot

The NSW Government is in the planning stage for the State’s first pilot REZ in the Central-West Orana region around Dubbo and Wellington on the land of the Wiradjuri, Wailwan and Kamilaroi people. View an indicative location of the Central-West Orana REZ.

The REZ is expected to be shovel-ready by the end of 2022 and unlock up to 3,000 megawatts (MW) of new electricity capacity by the mid-2020s, bringing up to $5.2 billion in private investment to the Central-West Orana region by 2030. This is enough new capacity to power around 1.4 million homes. This REZ is expected to support around 3,900 construction jobs in the Central-West Orana region at its peak.

The Central-West Orana region was chosen for the pilot because it benefits from relatively low transmission build costs due to its proximity to the existing backbone transmission network, a strong mix of energy resources and significant investor interest.

In June 2020, 27,000 MW of new energy generation and storage projects responded to a registration of interest on the Central-West Orana REZ – nine times the amount required to deliver the REZ.

In June 2020, the NSW Government also announced an additional investment of $31.6 million to support the development of the Central-West Orana REZ. This is on top of the $9 million announced in late 2019 and brings the State’s commitment to Central-West Orana REZ to over $40 million.

The importance of the Central-West Orana REZ was recognised in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2020 Integrated System Plan as an ‘actionable’ transmission project. This means it is deemed a critical project to address cost, security and reliability issues across the entire National Electricity Market.”


Find out more: 

NSW Govt Renewable Energy Zones –   http://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/ renewable-energy-zones

Indicative map of Orana REZ – https://energy.nsw.gov.au/ sites/default/files/2020-12/ REZ%20Map_CWO_20201113.pdf