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Community engagement begins for NSW Renewable Energy Zone

A scoping report has been released for New South Wales’ Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), providing a preliminary analysis of key environmental factors and proposed infrastructure for the project. 

The scoping report proposes a refined 1km transmission network study corridor following further design work and consultation with landowners. This has been reduced from the 5km wide study corridor initially announced in February 2022.

The report also identifies a range of key environmental factors, which will require further assessment in the EIS such as biodiversity, heritage, land use and visual amenity.

Related: Tilt Renewables Liverpool Range Wind Farm is earmarked for the Orana Renewable Energy Zone. Tilt Renewables Project Director Maja Barnett will be presenting the projects procurement opportunities at the online Connecting Renewable Energy Conference NSW on October 27. To find out more, connect here,

The proposed REZ is expected to deliver 3GW of renewable energy generation capacity as well as 3,900 jobs in construction and $10 billion of new investment to the Central-West Orana region. 

The transmission infrastructure for the REZ will include new 330kV and 500kV transmission lines to connect renewable energy generation projects to the grid, energy hubs at Merotherie and Elong Elong, and a new substation at Wollar. 

To support the release of the scoping report, EnergyCo will carry out a range of communication and engagement activities with local landowners, communities and key stakeholders, including a series of planned information sessions and the launch of an interactive map on the project website. 

There are seven information sessions planned in the region:

  • Wellington Soldiers Memorial Club, 73 Arthur Street, Wellington

Monday 19 September, 3–5 pm

  • Dunedoo Jubilee Memorial Hall, 154 Bolaro Street, Dunedoo

Tuesday 20 September, 10 am–12 pm and 3–5 pm

  • Coolah Youth and Community Centre, 10–12 Binnia Street, Coolah

Wednesday 21 September, 10 am–12 pm and 3–5 pm

  • Gulgong Memorial Hall, 112 Herbert Street, Gulgong

Friday 23 September, 9 am–12.30 pm

Following the release of the scoping report, the Department of Planning and Environment will issue Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements in late 2022, which will outline the requirements that must be addressed in the project’s EIS. 

The EIS will be on public exhibition in mid-2023.

This article first appeared in Utility Magazine.

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