Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap
The NSW Government's Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap is a coordinated framework to deliver a modern electricity system for NSW.
Within 15 years, three quarters of our State’s electricity supply is expected to reach the end of its technical life. Replacing these energy sources and building the infrastructure needed to connect them to our homes and businesses will take years. Action is needed now to ensure NSW consumers have continued access to cheap, clean and reliable electricity.
The global energy transition also represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our State’s industry, particularly in the regions. Acting now could set NSW up to be a global energy superpower.
Building on the 2019 NSW Electricity Strategy and the 2018 NSW Transmission Infrastructure Strategy, the Roadmap is a plan to transition our electricity sector into one that is cheaper, cleaner and more reliable.
Its enabling legislation, the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (NSW) passed both houses of NSW Parliament with strong bi-partisan support. It was enacted into law on 2 December 2020.
Together, the Roadmap and the Act commit the Government to
- declaring five Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) in the Central West Orana, Illawarra, New England, South West and Hunter-Central Coast regions. These Zones will deliver an intended network capacity of 12 gigawatts
- establishing an Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard to deliver new generation, long duration storage and firming capacity. A Consumer Trustee will be appointed to run competitive processes to offer long-term energy services agreements while protecting the interests of NSW consumers
- establishing an Electricity Infrastructure Jobs Advocate and NSW Renewable Energy Sector Board to ensure the use of locally manufactured and supplied goods and services, and maximise the engagement of suitably qualified local workers
- establishing a Transmission Development Scheme that will de-risk REZ investment.
The Roadmap is a decisive step towards thriving regions, a revitalised and re-industrialised economy, and better livelihoods for all NSW citizens. It is expected to:
- attract up to $32 billion in private investment for regional energy infrastructure by 2030
- support an estimated 9,000 jobs, mostly in regional NSW
- save around $130 a year on the average NSW household electricity bill and $430 a year on the average small business electricity bill between 2023 and 2040.
The Roadmap will also help NSW deliver on its ambitions to reach net zero emissions by 2050. It will help reduce NSW electricity emissions by 90 million tonnes by 2030.
The Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard (Infrastructure 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 Infrastructure Safeguard, a Consumer Trustee will be appointed to run competitive tenders to offer long-term energy services agreements for this generation, long duration storage and firming. Long-term energy services agreements will be option contracts which give the project optional access to a competitively set minimum price for their energy service.
The long-term energy services agreements will drive investment in projects that align with identified needs and provide investors with certainty. In January 2021, the Department released an information paper on long-term energy services agreement tender eligibility and timing.
The Consumer Trustee is an independent role, appointed by the Minister for Energy and Environment under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (NSW).
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 (LTESAs)
- appointing a Financial Trustee to establish, own and administer the Scheme Financial Vehicle and execute LTESAs.
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. 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.
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.
The Roadmap sets out a plan to deliver the State’s first five Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) in the State’s Central-West Orana, New England, South-West, Hunter-Central Coast and Illawarra regions.
These REZs will play a vital role in delivering affordable, reliable energy generation to help replace the State’s existing power stations as they come to their scheduled end of operational life.
To find the most up to date information on the REZs, please visit the REZ webpage. You can also enter your contact information on this page to subscribe to email updates.
The Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (NSW) provides the legislative framework to deliver the Roadmap.
The initial Electricity Infrastructure Investment Regulation 2021 was made in March 2021. This was specific to the Renewable Energy Sector Board. The regulation enabled the Board to be established so it could deliver on its statutory reporting timelines.
The second tranche of regulations relate to specific urgent and mechanical policy details where regulations are needed to implement the Roadmap. The Department consulted in May 2021 on the Tranche two regulations to support the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap Issues Paper (PDF 800KB). We received 34 submissions, including 2 confidential submissions. You can download and view non-confidential submissions (ZIP 13MB) on the issues paper.
The issues paper covers:
- definitions for the reserve margin, maximum demand, firm capacity, and the reliability standard for generation and inter-regional transmission
- classes of Renewable Energy Zone network infrastructure projects to provide a framework to develop the Transmission Efficiency Test
- principles for competitive tenders for Long Term Energy Service Agreements so the Consumer Trustee can develop tender rules
- matters the Consumer Trustee must consider in preparing the Infrastructure Investment Objectives Report
- the penalty notice regime.
The Department places a high priority on consultation and feedback. Your input will be vital to inform the development of regulations to support the Roadmap.
We expect to consult to inform further regulations throughout 2021. For the latest updates on consultation timings, please refer to Consultation.
Please join the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap mailing list to receive updates on the Roadmap’s implementation and upcoming opportunities to provide feedback.
A range of different entities are being appointed under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (NSW), including the Renewable Energy Sector Board and Electricity Infrastructure Jobs Advocate.
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 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.
The Electricity Infrastructure 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 Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program (the Program) will provide up to $50 million in grants to project developers to assist with the cost of early stage, detailed feasibility studies for pumped hydro projects.
The Program aims to establish a pipeline of up to 3 gigawatts of ‘shovel ready’ pumped hydro projects that can make competitive bids for long-term energy services agreements (LTESAs) for long duration storage under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard. As part of the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard, the Consumer Trustee may run the competitive process to bid for LTESAs on behalf of consumers.
For further information about the Program, including the Program Guidelines, the application process, FAQs and to subscribe for email updates, please visit the Program webpage.
For additional information on the potential of pumped hydro in NSW, please refer to the Pumped Hydro Roadmap.
The NSW Government places a high priority on consultation and feedback. Input from communities, industry, market participants and other interested stakeholders will be vital as the foundations of the Roadmap are put into place.
To help all our stakeholders understand when Roadmap consultations are expected to occur over the comings months, the Department has released an indicative consultation timeline.
The Department is committed to delivering the best outcomes for all stakeholders when implementing the Roadmap.
The Department is asking generation, storage and network developers to register their interest in being part of the State’s second Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) – the New England REZ – a major milestone in implementation of the Roadmap. You can respond through a dedicated Registration of Interest (ROI) form on our New England REZ ROI webpage. The ROI will be open for 6 weeks from 2 June to Friday 16 July 2021.
The Department recently sought public submissions for the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone Access Scheme Issues Paper (closed 30 April 2021) and the Tranche two regulations to support specific urgent and mechanical elements of the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap Issues Paper (closed 21 May 2021).
The Department expects to consult throughout 2021 on other substantive program design and policy details to inform regulations and Roadmap initiatives.
If you wish to be kept informed on the Roadmap’s implementation, and upcoming opportunities to provide feedback, you are encouraged to join the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap mailing list.
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.