POWER UP: Adam Marshall (pictured atop the Glen Innes Sapphire Wind Farm) will today announce plans the state government say will unlock $12.7 billion in investment. Photo: supplied

POWER UP: Adam Marshall (pictured atop the Glen Innes Sapphire Wind Farm) will today announce plans the state government say will unlock $12.7 billion in investment. Photo: supplied

$12.7 billion investment to make New England green powerhouse

New England renewable energy zone to unlock $12.7 billion in green power investment

Energy
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The REZ will generate 2,000 construction jobs and 1,300 ongoing jobs.

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The state government will today announce a policy that will unlock $12.7 billion in new investment in renewable energy and create thousands of jobs, local MP Adam Marshall said.

The Member for Northern Tablelands said it means the New England will become the state's latest and largest renewable energy zone.

An $80 million state government investment will unlock 8,000 megawatts of power projects, enough energy to power 3.5 million homes. The giant Hunter Valley power plant Liddell has a power capacity of about 2,000 megawatts.

The New England's renewables industry will grow to multiple times its current size; today the region has the capacity to power a quarter-of-a-million homes.

"The State Government has flicked the switch on a new era of investment, development and job creation for our region," Adam Marshall said.

"Importantly, at a time when towns like Glen Innes, Inverell, Uralla and Armidale are looking for new ways to encourage employment opportunities, the renewable energy zone will generate 2,000 construction jobs and 1,300 ongoing jobs."

The announcement means New England's renewable sector will be the largest in NSW, dwarfing last month's announcement of a renewable energy zone that will unlock $4.4 billion in the Central-West Orana region.

Mr Marshall said when the third zone is unveiled in the state's south-west, NSW will be set up to become the number one destination across Australia for renewable energy investment.

"For the first time in our region's history, we are on the cusp of being a net exporter of energy-building wealth in our communities," he said.

"Through progressive new policy frameworks and the National Energy Guarantee, we are balancing the needs of community while government action is driving new investment in new power generation to deliver least cost energy to customers."

He said the sector would bring more investment in public roads, telecommunications and health services and bring new people into the region to work on the "ground-breaking projects".

Liddell Power station, near Muswellbrook, is slated to close in 2023 after 50 years operation. It is the state's third-largest coal fired power station.

Government was last month swamped with interest in the Central West renewable energy zone, with a call for 3 gigawatts of wind, solar and storage projects oversubscribed 9 times over.

In April TransGrid announced a giant $217 million upgrade of the power grid in the New England to add more capacity to the interstate interconnector. It was the first scheme of the Australian Energy Market Operator's planned Integrated System Plan projects to get signed off in what will eventually be an enormous upgrade of power grid capacity across NSW.

When it was built, White Rock Wind Farm outside Glen Innes was the largest in NSW, at a cost of $400 million. The neighbouring Sapphire Wind Farm cost $550 million, and is now the largest.

Mr Marshall said the billions in new investment in renewable energy will drive down electricity prices.

The story $12.7 billion investment to make New England green powerhouse first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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