The Tasmanian Government has announced a new plan whereby the approval process for new renewable energy projects will be streamlined.

Minister for Energy and Renewables, Nick Duigan, said in a new move to secure the ongoing expansion of the sector, a dedicated approvals pathway will assist the continuing rollout of major renewable energy projects.

“I’m very pleased to be progressing the new Renewable Energy Approvals Pathway – also known as REAP,” Mr Duigan said.

Mr Duigan said REAP will provide a pathway for projects, such as wind farms and transmission lines, through the Major Projects Assessment Process.

“We already have significant renewable energy projects in the pipeline, and the new approvals pathway will ensure we continue to build that resource.”

The dedicated major renewable energy projects approvals pathway is the result of the Government’s Renewable Energy Coordination Framework.

As part of the Renewable Energy Coordination Framework, the Tasmanian Government undertook a review which identified the need for a REAP. It also complements other actions underway within the framework’s environmental pillar.

Components of the REAP include:

  • Establishing a Major Renewable Energy Project case management team within Government, made up of a dedicated case management officer in ReCFIT and a cross agency team to facilitate a more integrated and coordinated pre-assessment process
  • Develop definitive guidance on information requirements for Major Projects
  • A coordinated pre-assessment which considers a Reserve Activity Assessment and related assessment processes – parallel to the major projects

Other options committed to complement and support the establishment and ongoing operation of the REAP, including:

  • Prioritising progressing a bilateral assessment agreement for the Major Projects assessment pathway
  • Establishing assessment protocols between the Tasmanian and Australian Governments to address current shortages creating regulatory delays and inconsistent advice
  • Progressing the establishment of a guideline on community benefit schemes specific to Tasmania, and identifying a funding model that provides greater certainty to regional communities, and shows results sooner
  • Responding to recommendations from the Future of Local Government Review

Mr Duigan said that the Government is now developing a separate supporting initiative for statutory recognition of the Reserve Activity Assessment (RAA) process, including required assessment timeframes.

“Major Projects provides a more contemporary assessment process that is designed to align with community expectations of project assessment,” Minister Duigan said.

“Opportunity for public involvement will continue to be provided through consultation and exhibition processes as well as public hearings.”

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