Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap
The Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (Roadmap) is the NSW Government’s plan to transform our electricity system into one that is cheap, clean and reliable.
The Roadmap is enabled by the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (Act), which passed into law with cross-party support in December 2020.
The Roadmap coordinates investment in transmission, generation, storage and firming infrastructure as ageing coal-fired generation plants retire. The Roadmap includes actions that will work together to deliver ‘whole-of system’ benefits.
Key Roadmap actions include:
- Renewable Energy Zones
- Transmission development scheme
- Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard
- Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program
- Internationally competitive NSW industries
For recent announcements on Roadmap progress, and information about stakeholder engagement and feedback opportunities, see:
- February 2021 - NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap newsletter #1
- June 2021 - NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap newsletter #2
- July 2021 - NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap newsletter #3
To subscribe to our Roadmap newsletter and email updates, please complete this form.
Declaring the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone
The NSW Government has begun the process for declaring the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ). The declaration is the first step in formalising the REZ under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020. It sets out the intended network capacity (size), geographical area (location) and infrastructure that will make up the REZ.
EnergyCo NSW has consulted widely on the indicative zone and used the feedback received to prepare a revised geographic area for the REZ. The draft declaration is now on exhibition for 4 weeks until Friday 15 October 2021.
To find out more about the draft declaration, including what it means for regional communities, landholders, project proponents and industry, to see the revised geographic area and provide feedback, visit Central-West Orana REZ draft declaration.
Renewable Energy Zones 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. They can also be seen as geographic areas of NSW dedicated to a concentration of renewable energy, transmission and access schemes.
The Roadmap will deliver at least five Renewable Energy Zones in the Central-West Orana, Illawarra, New England, South-West and Hunter-Central Coast regions of NSW. These Zones will deliver an intended network capacity of 12 gigawatts.
To date, generation, storage and network developers have been asked to register their interest in being part of the State’s first two Renewable Energy Zones – the Central-West Orana and New England. Find out more.
Access schemes are a key part of the NSW Government’s work to coordinate and encourage investment in Renewable Energy Zones. We are engaging with industry, investors, communities and other interested stakeholders to design these access schemes.
Find out more about Renewable Energy Zones and access schemes.
The Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard is an investment signal to deliver the new electricity infrastructure NSW needs.
It provides a framework for technologies to compete and provide the energy services they are best placed to deliver, including:
- long duration storage
Under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard, a Consumer Trustee has been appointed to run competitive tenders to offer Long-Term Energy Services Agreements (LTESAs) for this generation, long duration storage and firming.
Long-Term Energy Services Agreements will be option contracts that give the project optional access to a competitively set minimum price for their energy service. These Agreements will drive investment in projects that align with identified needs and provide investors with certainty.
In August 2021 the Department released a consultation paper on the design of Long-Term Energy Services Agreements (submissions closed 10 September 2021). The Department expects to consult on the competitive tender process over the next few months.
The Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program will provide up to $50 million in recoverable grants to project developers to assist with the cost of early stage detailed feasibility studies for pumped hydro projects.
This Program aims to establish a pipeline of up to three gigawatts of ‘shovel ready’ pumped hydro projects that can make competitive bids for Long-Term Energy Services Agreements for long duration storage under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard.
For further information about this Program, including the Program Guidelines, the application process, FAQs and to subscribe for email updates, please visit the Program webpage.
We are committed to working closely with all stakeholders to deliver the Roadmap.
To date, engagement has been focused on gaining input into the policy framework required to support delivery of the Roadmap and to plan the first Renewable Energy Zones (REZs), including Central-West Orana REZ and the New England REZ.
We will continue to work in partnership with industry, regional communities and other stakeholders, alongside wider public consultation, as we continue to deliver the Roadmap. More information about engagement occurring in Renewable Energy Zone communities can be found here.
The Department of Planning Industry and Environment is committed to meaningful and genuine consultation and engagement with First Nations communities in implementing the Roadmap.
Along with addressing any matters of interest and concern, we will work closely with First Nations communities to identify and help secure the economic, community and environmental opportunities that the Roadmap will enable for these communities.
The Minister for Energy and Environment will issue guidelines on consultation and negotiation with First Nations communities for energy infrastructure delivered under the Roadmap.
These guidelines, required under Section 4(1) of the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020, the enabling legislation of the Roadmap, will build on, but not replace, existing consultation requirements under other legislation, in particular the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW) and the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).
We are currently working with First Nations advisors to engage with local First Nations communities on the development of the guidelines.
For more information about the guidelines, please contact the team via REZ [at] planning.nsw.gov.au.
To implement the coordinated plan set out in the Roadmap, a taskforce has been established within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. This taskforce has been working to establish the various entities and implement the policy framework required to deliver the Roadmap and its enabling legislation the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020.
Organisations delivering the Roadmap
Newly established and existing organisations will work in an interdependent manner to deliver the Roadmap. The taskforce will retain an important coordination role across these entities.
The Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo NSW) will be the Infrastructure Planner for the first five NSW Renewable Energy Zones set out in the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020. It will coordinate where the generation, long duration storage and firming capacity will be built.
EnergyCo NSW is responsible for planning the location of Renewable Energy Zones and contracting and overseeing the suppliers delivering the transmission network infrastructure required to connect the generation built in Renewable Energy Zones to the electricity grid.
Find out more about EnergyCo NSW and Renewable Energy Zones.
The Consumer Trustee is an independent role, appointed by the Minister for Energy and Environment under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020.
The Consumer Trustee’s purpose is to act independently and in the long-term financial interests of NSW electricity customers to improve the affordability, reliability, security and sustainability of electricity supply. It does this through long-term planning and well-structured procurement processes.
The Consumer Trustee will play a pivotal role in:
- planning the level of investment in generation, storage, firming and network infrastructure over time in NSW
- authorising network infrastructure projects
- administering tenders to identify the best generation, firming and storage projects to offer Long-Term Energy Service Agreements
- appointing a Financial Trustee to establish, own and administer the Scheme Financial Vehicle and execute Long-Term Energy Service Agreements.
The Minister for Energy and Environment has appointed AEMO Services Ltd, a subsidiary of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), as the NSW Consumer Trustee.
The Minister made this appointment following a rigorous evaluation process undertaken by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The evaluation was guided by strategic principles and criteria we publicly released in March and consultation with industry, our counterparts in state and federal government and AEMO itself.
A Renewable Energy Sector Board has been established to deliver plans to provide training and education where it is most needed.
The Renewable Energy Sector Board’s role is to oversee the operation of the renewable energy sector and the manufacture and construction of infrastructure in the sector.
The Minister for Energy and Environment has appointed the Renewable Energy Sector Board co-chairs and members, and the NSW Government has made regulations on the Board’s functions and procedures.
The Board held its first meeting on 5 March 2021. Read more about the establishment of the Board. As required under the Act, the Board submitted the first report on its activities to the Minister by 31 March 2021 and its second report by 30 June 2021.
An Electricity Infrastructure Jobs Advocate is being appointed by the Minister for Energy and Environment to provide expert advice on how to maximise opportunities for local workers and export infrastructure during the implementation of the Roadmap.
The Jobs Advocate’s purpose is to advise the Minister for Energy and Environment on:
- strategies and incentives to encourage investment, development, workforce development, employment, education and training in the energy sector in the Hunter and Central Coast, Illawarra, Far West and Central West regions of New South Wales
- road, rail and port infrastructure required in the regions specified above to promote export opportunities for generation, storage and network technology.
The Department is consulting on regulation and design issues to secure stakeholder input and feedback into how key areas of the policy framework are implemented.
The Department recently sought public submissions for the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone Access Scheme Issues Paper (closed 30 April 2021), the Tranche two regulations to support the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap Issues Paper (closed 21 May 2021), and the Long-Term Energy Service Agreements Design Paper (closed 10 September 2021).
Regulations relating to the Energy Security Target and the NSW Jobs Advocate under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 are now available.
The Department will continue to consult throughout 2021 on other substantive program design and policy details to inform regulations and Roadmap initiatives.
Visit the Latest News and Consultation section for more information.
Additional information about the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap can be found in the following documents:
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (Overview)
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (Detailed Report)
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap Chart Data
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap: Benefits for Regional NSW
- NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap: Industry Opportunities enabled by Cheap, Clean and Reliable Electricity
- NAB Weighted Average Cost of Capital report.
Stay informed about the Roadmap’s implementation and upcoming opportunities to provide feedback by joining the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap mailing list.