NSW gov to invest $1.2 billion in renewable energy to combat price crisis
With Australia currently undergoing an energy crisis, the NSW Government has just announced that it is going to invest $1.2 billion in renewable energy infrastructure to deliver cheaper and more reliable power.
This decision comes after the growing energy crisis in Australia as well as the announcements from various energy companies such as Origin Energy and AGL to shut down some of Australia’s biggest power plants in coming years.
In February, Origin Energy announced its decision to close Australia’s largest coal plant, Eraring, in 2025. Eraring, which supplies 20 per cent of NSW’s energy, has been operating for 35 years and was not scheduled to be shut down until 2032.
The early closure of Eraring and other major power plants have caused the government to speed up the rollout of its renewable energy zones.
As well as making Australia more energy efficient and environmentally conscious, the government estimates that the Transmission Acceleration Facility funding will drive at least $14 billion in private transmission infrastructure investment. The government says that this will fully recover the $1.2 billion they are funding and the money can then be recycled into new projects.
The first investment is in the 700 megawatt Waratah Super Battery located on the NSW Central Coast. This will be the biggest power battery in the southern hemisphere and will be operational by 2025. The battery’s purpose is to release grid capacity to ensure Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong residents can access energy from existing electricity generation.
NSW Minister for Energy, Matt Kean says that, “This is the state’s largest ever investment in infrastructure for renewable energy and is expected to help create 2700 direct construction jobs across the state.”
The government’s long term plan involves more than 50 large-scale renewable energy projects, which will deliver 16,000 megawatts of power into the grid.
“At a time when energy prices are at near-record highs, they will also help to alleviate the factors that have caused the current energy crisis, and avoid them reoccurring in the future” explains the Clean Energy Council’s director of external affairs, Arron Wood.
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