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A first in Australia with approval of Renewable Energy Zone

Western Plains App

Luke Williams

08 July 2024, 7:40 AM

A first in Australia with approval of Renewable Energy ZoneCentral-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (CWOREZ) has secured major planning approval in an Australian first

The Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone had become the first REZ in Australia to secure crucial planning approval.

The State Government has approved over 200 kilometres of transmission lines to connect numerous renewable projects in in the region that reaches the eastern edge of the western plains.

It is the first REZ in Australia to achieve this critical step, paving the way for the construction of essential transmission infrastructure to connect large-scale solar, wind and energy storage projects to the electricity grid across the region.

"This is the first REZ Transmission Project in the country to obtain planning approval, paving the way for a significant boost in renewable energy generation to replace aging coal-fired power stations” said Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe.

"It’s not just about clean energy. This project will bring long-term financial benefits to both NSW electricity consumers and the local communities which will host the Central-West Orana REZ."


Penny Sharpe. Image: Wikipedia.


The approval follows extensive technical planning and ongoing community consultation activities, including an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) exhibited in late 2023.

The consortium in charge of production includings ACCIONA, alongside Cobra and Endeavour Energy.

It is hoped the project is expected to drive up to $20 billion in private investment in solar, wind and energy storage projects, supporting around 5,000 jobs during peak construction.

It comes as Warrumbungle Shire Council has announced it has provided feedback on the Liverpool Range Wind Farm RTS Report for Temporary Workforce Accommodation (TWA).

“Council’s concerns include impacts on road infrastructure, cumulative effects, and deviations from the original development application,” said Warrumbungle Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Ambrose Doolan. 

Mayor Ambrose Doolan. Image: Supplied.


Council said it actively participated in meetings with the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) regarding the Birriwa Solar Farm, including addressing a public meeting on 5 June, 2024, at Jubilee Hall, Dunedoo.


“Council has urged the IPC to defer a final decision on the Birriwa Solar Farm until comprehensive assessments of cumulative impacts from over 40 large-scale wind, solar, and transmission projects within or near the REZ are conducted and proper compensation for environmental, social, and economic costs is ensured,” Cr Doolan explained


The Central-West Orana REZ is a key initiative under the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap to deliver clean, affordable and reliable energy to households and businesses across the state. The project will deliver at least 4.5 gigawatts of transmitted electricity, which is equivalent to powering 1.8 million homes.


To keep the community informed, the Warrumbungle Council has included a 'Latest news from Council on Renewable Energy Zones (REZ)' banner on its homepage.

This provides updates on REZ developments from the EnergyCo website and allows community members to review detailed submissions made by the Council on these projects.