Work to facilitate the transport of wind farm components could see the commute between Dubbo and Newcastle made safer and smoother for motorists.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
The NSW government recently announced they would be allocating an additional $800 million to get the state's Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) connected to the grid sooner - with works in Dubbo a priority.
Asked why Dubbo was prioritised, an EnergyCo spokesperson said the Central West Orana REZ has "some of the strongest renewable generation potential".
"It is also relatively close to the existing high-voltage transmission lines which means renewable projects can be connected to the grid with relatively short extensions to transmission infrastructure," the spokesperson said.
"This reduces costs for electricity consumers and maximises the efficiency of the electricity network."
The Central West Orana REZ, which will be the first completed in NSW, is expected at its peak to support around 5,000 construction jobs and bring up to $10 billion in private investment in the region by 2030.
One of the main changes the community will soon begin to see is upgrades to local and state roads.
To facilitate the transport of turbine components from the Port of Newcastle, the Golden Highway could be upgraded to include wider corners and longer passing areas so the roads aren't tied up with trucks.
Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson told the Daily Liberal the REZ funding would free up the council and state government's road funding to be used to upgrade other roads in the area.
"We will have the ability to get our roads up to a much higher standard and not use our money so we can keep working on the best use of our money," he said.
"What it means is that if we've got money from the REZ used on roads down around the eastern part of our LGA, that frees up funds to possibly use on other parts. So that's very exciting."
Energy minister Penny Sharpe said the additional funding would put the Central West Orana REZ on track to be completed by 2027 or 2028. Originally, the REZ was expected to be powered up by 2025 or 2026.
"It will accelerate the transition to renewables, to ensure NSW households and communities have a reliable supply of clean, affordable electricity," she said.
"This is a once-in-a-generation transition that requires massive investment and coordination from government and cooperation with the private sector.
"These investments will reignite the first of our Renewable Energy Zones in the Central West-Orana and make sure local communities see early benefits."
On completion of early works, EnergyCo expects construction on the projects to start in around 2025 or 2026 and take around two years to complete.
Cr Dickerson said he will continue to push the state and federal governments to ensure the Dubbo community can "capitalise" on the opportunities the REZ presents.
"I've talked to different groups who have said to me, 'Oh, Mathew, how do we stop this from happening?' And I said, 'well, you're not going to stop it from happening," he said.
"So you can either stand at the edge of the ocean, put your hand up and say, I don't want the tide to come in and next thing you know, you're under five feet of water.
"Or you can say it is going to happen, let's see how we can take advantage of it."
Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens. Download in the Apple Store or Google Play.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.