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A Renewable Energy Zone transmission project in NSW’s Central West has been declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure as a result of its importance to future energy supply and security.

The Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) Transmission project will develop high-voltage transmission lines, substations and other electricity infrastructure.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the project could help to bring a significant capacity of renewable energy online. 

“If approved, this project will deliver 3,000 megawatts of new energy capacity which is enough to power 1.4 million homes and pave the way for $5.2 billion in private investment in renewable energy projects,” Mr Stokes said.

“This would increase the grid’s capacity and enable the development of Australia’s first coordinated Renewable Energy Zone which will support the pipeline of wind, solar and energy storage projects in the Central West Orana region.”

Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said the declaration is an important step in delivering the State’s first Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).

“Last month we got our landmark energy legislation through the Parliament, and now we get on with the job of delivering the cheap, reliable grid that will power us into the future,” Mr Kean said.

“Transmission is such a critical piece of the energy infrastructure puzzle. We have seen huge investment interest in generation and storage projects for the Central-West Orana REZ, and projects like this will ensure we can get that capacity into the grid and into homes and business across the State.”

Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said TransGrid would undertake detailed community consultation on the transmission study corridor.

“We want to make sure this infrastructure is built where our local community wants and welcomes it, and I encourage landowners and the Central West Orana community to get involved in the consultation process for this major project that will unlock the economic benefits of the REZ for generations to come,” Mr Saunders said.

An Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared by TransGrid and released for community feedback and detailed assessment.