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Access right tender updates

Access Rights for the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone

Access schemes are a key part of the NSW Government’s plan to coordinate and encourage renewable energy and storage investment in Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) and realise the objectives of the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.

Generation and storage projects that wish to connect to the new Central-West Orana REZ (CWO REZ) network infrastructure, to which the CWO REZ Access Scheme applies, will need to seek an access right through the Consumer Trustee's competitive Tender process.

The CWO Access Pre-Tender Stage will start on Monday 22 May 2023 and culminate with a Q4 2023 tender.

The CWO Access Pre-Tender Stage will include interactive meetings led by EnergyCo for CWO access seekers to engage with ACE Energy as the first ranked Network Operator for the CWO REZ to provide projects with network information necessary to prepare quality bids for submission in Q4 2023. The EOI process to join the CWO Access Pre-Tender Stage has now closed. 

CWO REZ Access Scheme Term Extension

EnergyCo, as the Infrastructure Planner, has extended the term of the CWO REZ access scheme from 20 to 33 years. EnergyCo extended the term to align with the CWO REZ Network Operator’s Concession Period and the typical asset life of major generation projects. For more information, visit Access Schemes.    

Access Rights Tender information 

On 19 June 2023, AEMO Services, acting as the NSW Consumer Trustee, published the Draft Tender Information – CWO REZ Access Rights document on their website. The document contains important information about the CWO REZ Access Rights, key information to assist proponents with tender preparation and supports proponents to familiarise themselves with the characteristics of the tender, including the REZ Connection Process, access fees and security bonding requirements.   

Tender Round 4, scheduled for October 2023, is expected to offer Generation LTESA and CWO REZ Access Rights. Draft documents necessary for project proponents in the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (CWO REZ) are available for consultation on the AEMO Services website here

CWO REZ Network Infrastructure bidder information

Further information on the CWO REZ Network Infrastructure will be made available to developers seeking to tender for CWO access rights.

Information for bidders will be made available through an online data room. To request access, and execute a Confidentiality Deed Poll, please email [email protected].

Bidders who have previously participated successfully in the Candidate Foundational Generators’ EOI process for the CWO REZ need not re-apply.

For more information, visit Renewable energy generation projects.

For more information on the Tender process, visit the Consumer Trustee’s website.

Streamlined connection process

An overview of the streamlined connection process for the CWO REZ, is set out in the Access Scheme Positions Paper.

This revised process is intended to make the connection process less complicated for successful tenderers, including through the setting upfront of Access Standards for the CWO REZ.

As generation and storage projects are allocated access rights, they will be able to commence the streamlined connection process.

The following is a high-level description of how the initial steps of the process is anticipated to work:

  1. Following the allocation of access rights, the Consumer Trustee will share the connection-related information (provided in their application to the combined tender) for access rights holders with EnergyCo;
  2. EnergyCo will provide a package of information to access rights holders which is equivalent to the information provided in a response to connection enquiry under the National Electricity Rules (NER);
  3. Access right holders will be required to prepare an application to connect, including plant models, and submit these to the Network Operator appointed for the new CWO REZ infrastructure within the timeframes agreed under their project development agreements.

Initial system strength requirements for the access rights network are intended to be provided by the Network Operator delivering the access rights network, who will be reimbursed through fees collected from access right holders.

The method for calculating the system strength charge will be provided to bidders ahead of the competitive tender.

The regulations implementing the streamlined connection process will be finalised prior to the time applications to connect are required to be made by access right holders.

The latest detail on the streamlined connection process is available in the Access Scheme Positions Paper. For more information on the Tender visit the the Consumer Trustee's website.