NSW gov’t propels clean energy projects to light up 1.5M homes

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The New South Wales (NSW) Government is making substantial progress in renewable energy, with approvals granted for multiple wind and solar projects throughout 2023.

These initiatives are poised to generate enough clean energy to power over 1.5 million homes across the state, marking a substantial milestone in NSW’s transition towards a more sustainable energy future, the government said in a news release.

Under the purview of the Department of Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure (DPHI), 18 renewable energy State Significant Development (SSD) assessments were finalised, encompassing three wind farms, six solar farms, and nine large-scale batteries.

Of these, 13 projects received departmental approval, while five were referred to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) for determination. Notably, the IPC has approved four of these projects, with one still pending.

Among the recent approvals is the Yanco Delta wind farm, located in the state’s Riverina region.

With a capacity of 1.5 gigawatts, it is slated to become the largest wind farm in Australia, underscoring NSW’s commitment to scaling up renewable energy infrastructure.

These approved projects are anticipated to create over 3,000 jobs during both construction and operation phases, offering a significant economic boost to regional communities across NSW.

Additionally, the combined capacity of these projects to generate and store renewable energy amounts to 7.6 gigawatts, contributing to energy security while potentially saving 8.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe conveyed that the approvals signify the NSW Government’s dedication to expediting the shift towards renewable energy, ensuring that households and businesses benefit from dependable access to clean and cost-effective electricity.

“Across government, we will continue to drive the decarbonisation of our energy grid, setting NSW up with clean, reliable energy in the future,” the minister noted.

Similarly, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully highlighted the government’s prioritisation of renewable energy project development.

“These projects help deliver clean and affordable energy to NSW residents while injecting millions of dollars into regional economies and creating hundreds of new jobs,” he stated.

The minister concluded, “We will continue to work closely with industry and impacted communities to strike the right balance between supporting renewable energy projects and responsible development.”

Looking ahead, an additional 29 renewable energy projects are currently in the planning stages, with an additional 70 projects poised for submission to the department for approval.

This influx of projects underscores the growing momentum towards renewable energy adoption in NSW.

In tandem with project approvals, the NSW Government has recently concluded the exhibition stage on the draft Energy Policy Framework.

This framework includes new guidelines for wind energy development, transmission infrastructure, and benefit sharing, aimed at streamlining approval processes and providing clarity for both host communities and developers.

The finalised guidelines are expected to be released later this year.