NSW is on the road to a clean energy future

2020-11-25T17:26:32-05:00

The NSW Government this week has unveiled its Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, an ambitious plan to bring 12 gigawatts of renewable energy and 2 gigawatts of storage online by 2030.

The roadmap highlights that the state has an enormous opportunity ahead, and the same can be said for VivoPower thanks to some of its provisions.

Not only does the roadmap outline steps to modernise the state’s electricity infrastructure, but initial analysis suggests it could more than triple the amount of renewable energy in the state over the next decade. While NSW currently gets 16% of its energy from renewable sources, it could yield more than 60% by 2030.

This is in large part thanks to the government’s plan to create 3 Renewable Energy Zones in the Central-West Orana, New England and South West. Solar and wind farms will be concentrated in these regional zones for optimal output.

Central-West Orana, which will be the pilot zone with construction planned to start in 2022, isn’t far from 2 of J.A. Martin’s latest solar projects: the 39MWdc Molong Solar Farm (underway) and the 89MWdc Goonumbla Solar Farm (energised in June).

The government recognises that to support such concentrated power generation, it will need to modernise the state’s electricity infrastructure and create a more reliable grid.

That’s where energy storage – a key component of VivoPower’s sustainable energy solutions – comes in. Energy storage is so crucial to the roadmap that it factors in 2 of the 5 ‘foundational pillars’ for a modern electricity system:

  • delivering the infrastructure to support stable, long-term energy storage in NSW
  • backing the system with gas, batteries or other reliable sources as needed.

The 5th pillar is about empowering industries by offering cheap, reliable and low emissions electricity. The roadmap identifies industries that could benefit the most from low-cost energy or electrification as steel, aluminum, agriculture and minerals processing. This presents the perfect opportunity for Tembo e-LV B.V to electrify their fleets. Tembo’s light electric vehicle solution focuses on ruggedised and customised applications, particularly for mining.

According to the NSW Government, increasing the share of registered passenger vehicles in NSW that are battery electric vehicles by just 1% could save up to $89 million a year.

Given that at least 4 of the state’s 5 coal plants are expected to shut over the next 15 years, the roadmap’s publication comes as little surprise. Those coal plants supply about 75% of the electricity across NSW, which would leave a significant gap if not addressed.

Whatever the impetus, we are excited to help move Australia’s most populous state on its path to a sustainable energy future.