The NSW government will invest a record $380 million as part of the 2021-22 state budget in a bid to ramp up investment in new solar, wind and energy storage projects as it prepares for the impending retirement of its coal-fired power generators.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the money, to be announced in Tuesday’s state budget, will be spent over the next four years in implementing the state’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, that passed parliament late last year.
Under the roadmap, the government plans to bring online 12 GW of new large-scale solar and wind energy and 2 GW of storage by 2030, creating 6,300 construction jobs and 2,800 ongoing jobs.
“The roadmap is expected to attract $32 billion of investment over the next decade and create thousands of jobs,” Perrottet said in a statement on Thursday.
Energy Minister Matt Kean said the funding package is the government’s biggest investment in large-scale renewable energy in the state’s history, supporting “the most ambitious renewable energy policy in the country”.
“With four of our five coal-fired power stations due to reach the end of their technical lives in the next 15 years, we are on the clock to replace them before they close to keep the lights on and prices down,” he said.
“The roadmap is expected to deliver NSW families and businesses some of the cheapest electricity in the OECD and will set the state up for success in a low-carbon world.”
The budget funding boost builds on more than $110 million of existing funding commitments set aside by the NSW government to establish renewable energy zones (REZ) in the state’s central-west, New England, Riverina, Hunter and Illawarra regions.
It is expected the latest funding will ensure transmission upgrades in the Central West-Orana REZ, which is tipped to deliver 3 GW of renewable energy, are ready by the end of 2022. It will also help finance the establishment of a Consumer Trustee, Financial Trustee and Regulator to ensure competition in the new REZs benefits consumers.
The NSW budget announcement comes after Queensland government unveiled its budget on Tuesday, including a $2 billion investment in solar, wind, pumped hydro and battery storage projects.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the $2 billion Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund would help the state become “a renewables, hydrogen and manufacturing superpower” and deliver on a target of 50% renewable energy by 2030.
The Northern Territory Government has also rolled out its 2021-22 budget, allocating $4.8 million towards existing renewable energy schemes.
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