November 12 (Renewables Now) - The state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia on Monday presented its Transmission Infrastructure Strategy as it seeks to prepare the grid for gigawatts of new power capacity.
The government said it wants to unlock private sector investment in priority energy infrastructure projects, so as to help them deliver least-cost energy to customers to 2040 and beyond. The strategy envisages increased interconnection capacity with Victoria, South Australia and Queensland, an expansion of the Snowy Hydro Scheme, more affordable energy through a focus on specific energy zones, and streamlined regulation and improved conditions for investment.
“There are AUD 27 billion of new energy projects in the NSW pipeline but only 1 in every 20 projects can connect – it’s time to change that,” said the state’s energy minister Don Harwin. These projects, the combined capacity of which is over 20 GW, include wind, solar, bioenergy, gas, coal plant upgrades and pumped hydroelectric storage (PHS).
The strategy will help to facilitate new transmission to make up to 17.7 GW of new electricity generation possible in Energy Zones by 2040. Such energy zones, to “become a focus for investment and jobs in modern energy generation”, will be in the New England, Central West, and South West NSW regions. The government promises to ensure regulatory frameworks are fit for purpose and support efficient and timely investment in such zones.
“By increasing our transmission capacity and access to low-cost generation, we will support an orderly transition of the energy sector over the next two decades,” the NSW government says.
The strategy is available at https://energy.nsw.gov.au/renewables/emerging-energy/energy-zones.