The State Government has called for expressions of interest in the Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).
Announced last year as part of the government's renewable energy infrastructure roadmap, the REZ will connect multiple energy generators and storage projects across the regions with the aim of helping industry thrive and create new low carbon jobs.
"This new REZ will ensure the Hunter and Central Coast remain the powerhouse of New South Wales, with 60 per cent of the State's homes, businesses and industry already powered out of these regions, " Treasurer and Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said.
"The Hunter-Central Coast REZ will provide cheap, reliable and clean electricity for the homes and businesses of NSW, while supporting new job creation as we shift to a low carbon future."
REZs are essentially modern day power stations that bring together low-cost solar and wind generation with transmission and storage to produce cheap, clean and reliable electricity.
The Energy Corporation of NSW is in the early stages of planning the Hunter-Central Coast REZ. The registration of interest (ROI) process will help to inform the timing, capacity, design and location of the Hunter-Central Coast zone.
There are currently 13 renewable energy and battery storage projects in the Hunter and Central Coast, which are approved or progressing through the planning system.
"The Hunter-Central Coast REZ is a key part of our state's electricity infrastructure roadmap, which is expected to deliver $32 billion in private investment, and create 6,300 construction and 2,800 ongoing jobs by 2030," Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin said.
The government is inviting renewable energy operators and large energy users to register their interest in being part of the Hunter-Central Coast REZ."
Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell said the REZ will support the development of the Hunter Hydrogen Hub, which will result in some of the cheapest green hydrogen in the world.
"The Hunter-Central Coast REZ is a fundamental part of our Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, to build NSW into an energy superpower, and will provide a huge boost to the State's clean, affordable and reliable electricity supply," Mr Layzell said.
"Planning, designing and building new electricity infrastructure is complex and requires a detailed understanding of the Hunter region. The NSW Government is committed to engaging closely with the local community and stakeholders every step of the way."
Renewable energy projects and businesses with large electrical loads are encouraged to register their interest in being part of the REZ.
"The NSW Government is focused on making sure new energy infrastructure is built in places where the community wants it, and the Central Coast is ready to welcome the renewable technology of the future," Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch said
"Extensive and meaningful community engagement is at the core of the NSW Government's REZ program, with the Hunter-Central Coast REZ expected to take several years to design and develop."
The call for registrations of interest in the Hunter-Central Coast REZ will close on the 4th of February 2022.
For more information on the Hunter-Central Coast REZ and the ROI process, visit https://energy.nsw.gov.au/renewable-energy-zones
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