January 2024 project update
Through our ongoing engagement with communities, landowners and stakeholders we’ve received a range of feedback and identified potential opportunities for the project.
Read the latest project update which includes changes to the south hub and progress on field investigations.
About the transmission project
The New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) will be serviced by new transmission network infrastructure, including transmission lines and energy hubs, which will transfer power generated by solar and wind farms to electricity consumers. This infrastructure will be critical for the successful operation of the REZ. EnergyCo is leading the development of the REZ transmission network infrastructure as the Infrastructure Planner for the REZs in NSW.
Some of this infrastructure will need to be built outside the New England REZ geographical area to connect the REZ to the main backbone transmission network. EnergyCo is in the early stages of assessing what new network infrastructure should be built to unlock and service the New England REZ.
Preliminary study corridor
EnergyCo has identified a preliminary study corridor to host essential electricity transmission infrastructure in the New England and Upper Hunter regions. This is available to view on the interactive map.
Community consultation on the preliminary study corridor started in June 2023. While still in the early planning stages, we will continue to consult with the community as the project progresses.
EnergyCo has commenced field investigations to help refine the New England transmission project preliminary study corridor and inform the environmental studies needed to assess the project.
Field studies currently underway include ecological (flora and fauna) surveys and aerial mapping surveys.
EnergyCo will need to undertake these studies across a range of public and private land. We will continue to work closely with landowners in relation to access arrangements and survey methodologies when access to private land is needed.
Some aerial mapping will also be conducted in the region surrounding the preliminary study corridor. These activities involve the use of an aircraft fitted with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) equipment to survey the landscape and inform our understanding of key topographic features and vegetation cover. This will help further refine the project design, access roads and construction requirements.
Additional surveys are expected to occur over the coming months and will allow us to confirm environmental conditions and engineering constraints. The types of field investigations we may need to carry out are outlined below:
|Study flora and fauna species and habitat
|Geotechnical and contamination investigations
|Confirm underground rock and soil conditions and if any contaminants are present
|Survey existing ground levels, locations of features and infrastructure, and identify property boundaries
|Assess the storage and flow of water on the land
|Locate evidence of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artefacts and heritage sites
|Measure background noise levels
|Confirm the location of utilities including water, electricity, gas and telecommunications