Saturday, July 13, 2024

Engagement phase begins for Tasmanian renewables zone

The Tasmanian Government has announced the start of the next phase in the Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) establishment process in North-West Tasmania, with engagement commencing to define a first zone.

Minister for Energy and Renewables, Guy Barnett said the development of a REZ was about economies of scale – being able to benefit from existing energy resources and established grid infrastructure close-by to unlock new energy at lower cost, while also considering environmental, heritage and other important values.

“A series of community and stakeholder engagement activities will be hosted throughout the region to explain what REZ are, why they are needed and asking people to provide input into the REZ planning process,” Minister Barnett said.

“Exploring local perspectives and expectations will ensure that the planning, design and implementation of the REZ is done the right way and that the benefits are shared with local communities.”

On Monday, Renewables, Climate and Future Industries Tasmania launched an interactive engagement platform to allow community to actively engage and stay up to date on opportunities to participate in this process.

“Most importantly in the short term, Expressions of Interest are currently being called for community members to participate in stakeholder reference groups which will help shape and guide the REZ establishment process,” said Minister Barnett.

“We will also be releasing the final Guideline for Community Engagement, Benefit Sharing and Local Procurement in the coming weeks with those engagement principles to guide the discussions.

“We welcome all individuals and community groups who want to find out more information about Renewable Energy Zones to visit the websiteand register their interest to stay up to date with the REZ progress.

www.renewableenergyzones.tas.gov.au.

“Doubling the amount of renewable energy produced in Tasmania will help develop new and existing industrial load in the State, put downward pressure on prices, provide an economic stimulus through construction and operation to local communities and help the National Electricity Market transition away from fossil fuels.”

He said the recent announcement regarding funding, financing and ownership of Project Marinus had been an important consideration to selecting the first REZ region.

“This agreement minimises the shared network costs for the North-West Transmission Development for Tasmanian customers and in doing so will deliver an additional 1200MW of generation hosting capacity that a REZ can tap into,” the Minister said.

“A first REZ in the North-West would provide new generation to coincide with the commissioning of the first Marinus cable and would deliver the generation needed to develop an export scale hydrogen sector and other future industries around the start of the next decade.”

Mr Barnett said ReCFIT was also establishing regular industry forums to be run over the course of the year to allow Industry to participate in the REZ establishment process. Initial targeted consultation is planned for mid-2023.

More information about the broader REZ engagement program can be found at www.renewableenergyzones.tas.gov.au.

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