The NSW Emerging Energy Program supports an orderly transition to a clean. reliable and affordable energy future.

A brighter future for NSW

A $55 million Emerging Energy Program designed to bring forward a pipeline of large-scale energy and storage projects in NSW ushers in a new era of “diversification of electricity supply via emerging technologies and renewable sources” that supplies energy on demand and increases energy security.

NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin presented details of the Emerging Energy program in late October at NSW Parliament House, with AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman and ARENA’s Darren Miller also addressing the assembly of 400 people.

During the announcement Harwin spelt out the $55 million NSW Emerging Energy Program aims to support large-scale dispatchable technology including solar power, batteries and pumped hydro.

The program is seen in part as a rebuff to Prime Minister Morrison's "fair dinkum [sub-text coal] power" campaign, with Don Harwin saying "We want to do everything we can to enable the private sector to accelerate projects that deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy for NSW consumers. The expertise is right here at home – and we want to use it."

Hear hear! We like what we are hearing from Harwin, who will be a key presenter at the December 4 Smart Energy Summit in Sydney.

Eligible projects in the Emerging Energy Program must be at least 5MW capacity, connected to the NSW region of the NEM, and demonstrate the ability to provide dispatchable or on-demand energy to help meet the state’s energy needs. Given that emissions intensity for new projects are capped at 0.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide, new coal plants would fail to meet criteria (and quash the aspirations of the federal energy minister).

Funding will be capped at $10 million per project, with project contributions expected to match the funding as well as that of grant funding for pre-investment studies of up to $500,000 per project.

Word has spread with the program receiving widespread acclaim as it sets NSW on the path to transition from its ageing polluting 10GW coal-dominated energy industry to wind, solar and energy storage. The program is expected to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in additional private sector investment and a significant number of jobs and investment in regional NSW.

In a tweet sent out after the announcement, NSW Minister Don Harwin said: “Great to see so much private sector interest in partnering with the NSW Government to help our state transition to a modern energy future.” 

John Grimes of the Smart Energy Council welcomed the program announcement, saying  “NSW is moving in the right direction and we commend state energy minister Don Harwin for his vision and leadership on such a critical issue, especially in light of the fact the state is struggling with one of the worst droughts in history as temperatures continue to rise, weather patterns change and bring enormous stress and loss.

“The state government has acknowledged the need to replace ageing polluted technology – old coal fired power plants – with modern clean technology and any moves in the right direction are welcome.

“However NSW has a long way to go to catch up with renewable energy projects on the ground, $55 million is a relatively small amount of money and we would urge the state to do more.”

He added that a further positive announcement from NSW was anticipated, details of which will be presented in due course, possibly at the Dec 4 Smart Energy Summit in Sydney.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment expects to open registrations and a call for Expressions of Interest in the first quarter of 2019, at which time further details will be available.

For information or to pre-register interest, email [email protected]