Five out of five - Illawarra REZ declared
The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has declared the fifth Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in the Illawarra to ensure the region plays a central role in the State’s clean energy future.
The move makes the Illawarra the final REZ to be declared of the five zones identified under the nation-leading NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.
Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the announcement is part of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s long term plan to modernise the electricity grid with renewable energy and storage, helping to drive down prices and keep the system reliable.
“The Illawarra has a proud history of manufacturing and the REZ will only build on this legacy, powering existing and emerging industries such as offshore wind, green hydrogen and green steel production,” Mr Kean said.
“The Illawarra is an ideal region to host a REZ, thanks to its existing energy, port and transport infrastructure, its highly skilled workforce and strong demand from existing industries to decarbonise.
“This is a huge win for the Illawarra with projects registering their interest showing a potential to create more than 8,300 jobs, not including the huge employment potential of offshore wind.”
The Illawarra REZ runs down the coastline from Wollongong to Shellharbour and around to Dapto capturing existing infrastructure such as Port Kembla, Dapto Substation and the Tallawarra Power Station.
There is strong commercial interest in the Illawarra region with the potential to unlock more than 17 gigawatts and more than $43 billion of private investment in wind, battery storage, pumped hydro, hydrogen and new load projects, including green steel manufacturing.
“These projects have the potential to deliver thousands of jobs in the Illawarra as the region moves to a clean energy future,” Mr Kean said.
“This is just another example of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government getting on with the job of transforming our State’s energy system, while the Labor Party develops its secret plan to nationalise the grid which will spook investment and push up power prices.
“Chris Minns has promised to provide no energy bill relief for seven years. The Liberals and Nationals will provide immediate relief of $250. Plus we are already delivering hundreds of millions in energy bill rebates.”
EnergyCo will begin the next phase of development, including continuing to engage closely with the local community, industry, councils and other stakeholders in 2023.