Kean flags $1.2b budget boost for renewables infrastructure

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

The upcoming New South Wales budget will contain the state’s largest ever investment in renewable energy, with $1.2 billion to fast-track renewable energy zones, state Treasurer Matt Kean announced on Friday.

The state’s Transmission Acceleration Facility will be pumped up to fund transmission and storage projects, including the massive Waratah Super Battery.

The budget investment, to be stretched over 10 years, was unveiled by Mr Kean – who is also the state’s Minister for Energy – who said it would lead to cheaper and more reliable energy by developing infrastructure.

The new infrastructure would add capacity to the state’s transmission network and make over 50 large scale renewable energy projects currently in a planning phase much more viable, Mr Kean said.

A financing facility for transmission and storage projects will receive a budget boost

The Transmission Acceleration Facility was first revealed in February following Origin Energy’s decision to bring forward the closure of the Eraring power station.

Mr Kean said the massive injection into the facility would fund more transmission and storage infrastructure more quickly, unlocking the state’s planned Renewable Energy Zones.

“Renewable Energy Zones are modern day power stations, providing cheap and clean power for the homes and business of NSW,” Mr Kean said.

“This is the State’s largest ever investment in infrastructure for renewable energy and is expected to help create 2,700 direct construction jobs across the State.

“We estimate the Facility will drive at least $14 billion in private transmission infrastructure investment with all government contributions to be fully recovered.”

The first investment of the facility will be the Waratah Super Battery. The 700MW standby network battery will support the transmission grid and is the largest standby network battery in the Southern Hemisphere.

The NSW government is currently seeking tenders for the battery’s development and expects to award a contract later this year. It could be in service by 2024.

The Facility will be delivered by the state government’s Energy Corporation of NSW and fund development activities for new transmission projects that deliver the New South Wales Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.

The commitment will be in the state budget being handed down on June 21.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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