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Central-West Orana REZ Access Rights Application Process

On 22 January 2024, a market information notice was published to inform stakeholders that EnergyCo will administer an expedited application process to allocate the initial tranche of access rights for generation and storage projects seeking access to the new Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) network.

On 5 April 2024, the NSW Government finalised a package of reforms to enable EnergyCo to implement the application process. This included making amendments to the Central-West Orana REZ Access Scheme Declaration, Guidelines for Access Scheme Declarations and the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Regulation 2021 (EII Regulation). In addition to giving EnergyCo functions to deliver the application process, the reforms include technical changes to how access rights can be allocated to generation and storage projects connecting to network infrastructure within a REZ with an access scheme. The reforms do not impact how access schemes provide benefits to local communities, for example through the use of part of access fees for community and employment purposes.

The Central-West Orana REZ access rights application process is now open.

About the application process

EnergyCo has published a final version of the Application Process Guidelines to coincide with the opening of the application process.

EnergyCo is required to publish a standard development agreement between it and participants in an access scheme in relation to the grant or increase of access rights under the access scheme prior to opening applications.

The standard development agreement for the application process is called the Project Development Agreement (PDA) and is available below. It imposes obligations on the access right holder in favour of EnergyCo regarding the development, construction and operation of its Project, compliance with social licence commitments and cumulative impact requirements and reporting obligations.

Download the Project Development Agreement template

Applications are now open

Projects can start making submissions to the application process after being granted access to the Application Process Data Room. The timing for submissions has been updated, please see the table below and final Guidelines. Information on how to access the Application Process Data Room is detailed below.

Apply for access to the Application Process Data Room

Projects wanting to apply for access rights through the access allocation process must request access to the Application Process Data Room. Please apply in writing to EnergyCo at [email protected].

EnergyCo will issue an information pack that will include the following documents, which applicants must complete and return to EnergyCo before they will be granted access to the Data Room:

  • Confidentiality and Disclaimer Deed Poll
  • Data Room Interaction Rules and Guidelines

Application Process Guidelines

The final Application Process Guidelines detail how EnergyCo will invite, accept and assess applications for access rights and set out eligibility criteria for applicants seeking access rights.

View the final Application Process Guidelines

As referenced in the Application Process Guidelines, a paper has been developed to explain the method EnergyCo as the Infrastructure Planner will follow to apply the Target Transmission Curtailment Level in the Central-West Orana REZ and conduct headroom assessments as required by the Access Scheme Declaration.

View the Target Transmission Curtailment Level and Headroom Assessment Method paper.

An FAQs page has been prepared to read in conjunction with the Application Process Guidelines and will be updated as questions are received from potential applicants. View the FAQs here.

An overview of the application process is detailed below.

MilestonesDate
Applications open12 April 2024
Part 1 (eligibility) submissions close29 April 2024
Part 2 (merit) submissions close24 May 2024
Access right agreements executedJuly to August 2024
Network Operator contract awardQ4 2024
Access right holders commence negotiation with the Network Operator on the Energy Supplier Connection DeedQ4 2024
Construction starts on transmission lineQ1 2025
Central-West Orana REZ network becomes operational2028

Pathway to access rights for projects without existing Hub to Project solutions

EnergyCo welcomes early and continued engagement with generation and storage projects in the Central-West Orana REZ without existing Hub to Project solutions, who wish to discuss their pathway to seeking access rights outside this application process.

Please contact EnergyCo at [email protected] should you wish to discuss your pathway to apply for an access right.

Further information

For any enquiries related to this information, first view the FAQs page dedicated to the application process. If your question is not covered on the FAQs page, please contact EnergyCo at [email protected].

For more information on the Central-West Orana REZ Access Scheme, please visit Access schemes.