Communities invited to have their say on transmission infrastructure for the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone

2/02/2021


Communities across the Central-West Orana region are encouraged to share their views on a new transmission project which will enable the development of Australia’s first coordinated Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), being led by the NSW Government.

The Central-West Orana REZ Transmission project will deliver the high voltage transmission infrastructure needed to connect renewable energy generation, including wind, solar and storage (batteries), in the Central-West Orana REZ to the existing electricity network.

Building the new transmission infrastructure is a key component of the REZ, which is expected to unlock up to $5.2 billion of private investment in the local region by 2030. It will support around 3,900 peak construction jobs and 500 ongoing jobs and add around 3,000 megawatts of new capacity to the system.

As a key delivery partner, TransGrid will host a series of consultation sessions to provide local communities with information about the Central-West Orana REZ Transmission project.

Executive Manager Major Projects Sean McGoldrick says it’s an important opportunity for members of the public to get involved in early consultation on the REZ project, which has been declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure by the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes.

“The new transmission infrastructure will help deliver lower electricity bills and enable more renewable energy projects, like solar and wind farms, to connect to the grid,” said Mr McGoldrick.

“It’s important we hear from landowners and other community members to inform the planning of the route and help minimise the impacts of the project on the communities in the region,” he said.

The proposed transmission lines will run north-west from the existing network near Merriwa, passing south of Dunedoo, before heading south-west to connect to the existing network east of Wellington. There is also an option to extend further south near Lake Burrendong and Wollar substation will be upgraded as part of the project.

The current study corridor is 180 kilometres long and between 3 and 6 kilometres wide. The final transmission line easements will be either 60 or 80 metres wide and will be informed by landowner and community feedback and a detailed environmental assessment.

The TransGrid community engagement team will host community information sessions in Wellington, Dunedoo, Gulgong, Merriwa, Cassilis, Leadville and Elong Elong from mid-February (see the attached table). These sessions are the start of an ongoing consultation process that will continue throughout the delivery of the Central-West Orana REZ Transmission project, which is expected to be shovel-ready at the end of 2022. There will be many opportunities for people to provide feedback, including COVID-safe face-to-face meetings and an interactive map available on the project website.

The NSW Government has committed $40 million to coordinate delivery of the REZ. A $5 million funding boost from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has enabled TransGrid to undertake feasibility, planning and early community engagement activities for the Central-West Orana REZ Transmission project.

For more information on the Central-West Orana REZ Transmission project, call the project hotline: 1800 313 212 (toll free number), email: cwo@transgrid.com.au or go to: transgrid.com.au/centralwestorana.

For more information about the Central-West Orana REZ, visit the NSW Government’s website at www.energy.nsw.gov.au/renewable-energy-zones or contact the REZ team at rez@planning.nsw.gov.au or by calling 1300 305 695.

Media enquiries:
Michelle Stone 0438 293917
michelle.stone@transgrid.com.au

Central-West Orana community information sessions

​Monday 15 Feb
8:00am – 11:00am 
​Wellington Civic Centre
Swift St, Wellington
​Monday 15 Feb
5:00pm – 8:00pm
​Wellington Civic Centre
Swift St, Wellington
​Tuesday 16 Feb
8:00am – 11:00am
​Wellington Civic Centre
Swift St, Wellington
​Tuesday 16 Feb
3:00pm – 8:00pm
​Elong Elong Hall
31 Dubbo St, Elong Elong
​Thursday 18 Feb
8:00am – 11:00am
​Dunedoo Bowling Club
39 Cobborah St, Dunedoo
​Thursday 18 Feb
5:00pm – 8:00pm
​Leadville Hall
17 Clarke St, Leadville
​Friday 19 Feb
8:00am – 11:00am
​Leadville Hall
17 Clarke St, Leadville
​Monday 22 Feb
8:00am – 11:00am
​Gulgong RSL
64 Herbert St, Gulgong
​Monday 22 Feb
5:00pm – 8:00pm
​Gulgong RSL
64 Herbert St, Gulgong
​Wednesday 24 Feb
8:00am – 11:00am
​Cassilis Bowling Club
Cassilis Rd, Cassilis
​Wednesday 24 Feb
5:00pm – 8:00pm
​Cassilis Bowling Club
Cassilis Rd, Cassilis
​Thursday 25 Feb
8:00am – 11:00am
​School of Arts, Merriwa
Bow Street, Merriwa
​Thursday 25 Feb
5:00pm – 8:00pm
​School of Arts, Merriwa
Bow Street, Merriwa
​Friday 26 Feb
8:00am – 11:00am
​School of Arts, Merriwa
Bow Street, Merriwa