Dubbo regional council mayor Mathew Dickerson will meet with energy minister Penny Sharpe "as soon as possible" over potential delays to the central west Orana renewable energy zone.
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On Thursday, minister Sharpe briefed journalists about Labor's network infrastructure strategy, saying she was concerned that costs and time frames had grown since the project was proposed in 2020.
"I want to be very upfront about this, there's some real challenges within this plan," she told reporters on Thursday.
"The previous government was asked about costs and time frames and never provided an answer."
She said the New England zone and central west Orana zone - which will account for the bulk of the state's renewable energy generation capacity - will be delayed by up to two years as an independent check-up on NSW's energy policies is conducted.
The central west Orana zone covers almost 21,000 square kilometres and is expected to have a network capacity of 4.5 gigawatts, with an estimated cost of $3.2 billion for new wind and solar projects.
Originally its "energisation date" was slated for 2025, but now it's not expected to be up and running until 2027 or 28.
Asked about the delays, Cr Dickerson - who has championed the renewable energy zone for the benefits it will bring to the local government area - said he has met with three staff from the Minister's office and the CEO of EnergyCo to arrange a meeting.
"The focus of the meeting will not so much be about the delays but how we can maximise the long-term benefits to residents and businesses in our local government area," he said.
The NSW government's goal is 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and as close as possible to 100 percent by 2050.
The central west Orana renewable energy zone will have the capacity to power 47 per cent of the households in the state. It is expected to bring over $10 billion of private investment into the central west region and over 4,000 construction jobs at its peak.
"Whilst the area includes a number of local government areas, the Dubbo region will benefit significantly from being a part of this renewable energy zone," said Cr Dickerson.
"[It] will also present wider opportunities for industries that will focus on the future in a net zero economy. It is exciting that these industries will be based in our region and will deliver long-term benefits for our community."
Although he is eager to see it up and running, Cr Dickerson said the delay to the renewable energy zone may come with an upside as it would allow the council to better prepare for the influx of workers expected to the region.
"Whilst the delays may impact short-term job growth in the region, it also provides Council an opportunity to plan the workforce growth and housing availability for the initial construction phase," he said.
"Challenges are being experienced in the workforce and housing sectors nationwide and Council are continually working through solutions to ensure that we have both the workforce and housing for new projects within the renewable energy zone."
The government's energy policy check-up will be led by energy and public policy specialist Cameron O'Reilly who will deliver his report to the Government in early August 2023.
"Cameron O'Reilly is a very experienced, highly respected energy expert and I am pleased that he will be able to bring an independent, practical eye to this check up," said Ms Sharpe.
"Mr O'Reilly will stress test the policies in place to ensure we have the right plans in place to deliver an orderly energy transition as quickly as possible to ensure reliable, affordable and clean electricity for NSW households and businesses."
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