The New South Wales Government has announced the final REZ of the five zones identified under the New South Wales Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, which will be located in the Illawarra.
New South Wales Treasurer and Minister for Energy, Matt Kean, said the announcement is part of the New South Wales 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 17GW 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.
EnergyCo will begin the next phase of development, including continuing to engage closely with the local community, industry, councils and other stakeholders in 2023.