The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) has published a refined draft access scheme for the South West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) for public consultation. Interested stakeholders were invited to have their say between 21 December 2023 and 5 February 2024.
The updated proposal follows public consultation on the initial Draft South West REZ Access Scheme and Scheme Design Position Paper from 2 March to 15 May 2023.
The Government received 26 submissions as part of that process and has now published an addendum to the original position paper which explains the changes to the refined Draft South West REZ Access Scheme.
The key proposed changes aim to address stakeholder feedback while delivering on the Government’s statutory responsibilities and policy objectives and include:
- Increasing the Target Transmission Curtailment Level (to 3.86 per cent) and initial aggregate maximum capacity cap (to 3.98 gigawatts) to ensure higher utilisation of the network infrastructure, and
- Providing flexibility on the location of projects not located wholly within the REZ geographical area to provide more opportunities for investment.
The refined draft access scheme applies to a large portion of Project EnergyConnect, including infrastructure between Buronga and Wagga Wagga, as well as portions of the VNI West transmission line being built to connect NSW to Victoria.
An access scheme for the South West REZ would help ensure that generation and storage projects in the REZ are planned efficiently.
It would also help to maximise benefits to energy consumers and the local REZ community, including through access fees for community and employment purposes.
DCCEEW, including EnergyCo, hosted a live webinar on Monday 29 January 2024 to provide detailed insights into the refined Draft South West REZ Access Scheme.
Feedback from the consultation process will help inform the Minister for Energy’s decision on a final access scheme for the South-West REZ.
The relevant documents have been published on the Climate and Energy Action website.