Central-West Orana REZ Transmission

TransGrid is working with the NSW Government to plan new transmission infrastructure for Australia's first coordinated Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in the state's Central-West Orana region.

Investment in the new infrastructure will allow renewable energy providers from the region to connect to the grid and enable more affordable, reliable and clean energy for New South Wales customers.

What is a REZ? 

REZs are the modern day equivalent of traditional power stations. They combine renewable energy generation (such as wind and solar), energy storage (such as batteries and pumped hydro), and high-voltage structures and transmission lines to deliver energy to homes, businesses and industries that need it. 

By connecting multiple energy generators and storage at the same location, REZs capitalise on economies of scale and deliver affordable, reliable and clean electricity for NSW. 

Project benefits

  • Lower wholesale electricity costs – by placing downward pressure on customer bills through increased competition
  • Improve reliability – by delivering large amounts of new energy supply
  • New local jobs – opportunities for local workers and businesses during construction
  • Reduce emissions and deliver a greater mix of renewable energy in the National Electricity Market, supporting Australia’s transition to a lower carbon future.

Project scope

TransGrid is planning new 500kV and 330 kV transmission lines, substation(s) and related infrastructure to support the development of the Central-West Orana REZ. 

REZs are modern power stations. They combine transmission, large scale generation (such as solar and wind), storage and connection infrastructure.

TransGrid’s existing substation at Wollar will also be upgraded as part of the Central-West Orana REZ Transmission (Transmission project). The project has received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of ARENA's Advancing Renewables Program. 

Where is it located?

The transmission project is in its early investigation stages. A route for the transmission lines has not yet been decided.

The project study corridor – a broad area of investigation where the transmission lines and infrastructure could be located – runs north-west from the existing 500kV network near Merriwa, passing south of Dunedoo before connecting to the existing network east of Wellington. It also includes an option to extend south to near Lake Burrendong. The study corridor is generally between 3-6 kilometres wide and approximately 180 kilometres in length.

The identification of the study corridor is one of the early steps in the process of developing the Transmission project. Further refinement of the corridor will take place throughout 2021-2022. 

View the study corridor and submit feedback using this interactive map

Latest updates

We are currently meeting and working with landowners and local communities to discuss constraints and opportunities within the study corridor, including carrying out environmental surveys to help with informing route identification.

From September 2021, ecology surveys are planned to start on public and private land located within the study corridor, COVID-19 restrictions permitting. This information will help identify existing animal and plant species and their habitats within the study corridor.  

For more information on the process see our land access factsheet and ecology survey factsheet.

We’re continually monitoring the status of COVID-19 and health and government advice. We’re committed to working with landowners and the community to adapt to the changing circumstances. 

  • Landowner support services

    We recognise the Central-West Orana REZ Transmission project may have increased the level of stress and anxiety experienced by landowners, and have engaged an external service provider – Assure Programs – to provide landowners with short-term support and counselling.

    About Assure Programs

    Assure Programs' psychologists are professionally qualified with a minimum of five years’ post-registration experience. Like doctors, Assure Programs counsellors are bound by a professional Code of Ethics preventing the disclosure of personal information without written consent. 

    The service is confidential and anonymous. TransGrid does not receive any information about who uses these services.

    Sessions generally last one hour and most issues can be resolved within a few sessions. When long-term advice or counselling is required, the counsellor will consider the most appropriate referral option and make a recommendation.

    There is no cost to landowners in accessing this service. 

    How to make an appointment

    If you are a landowner, and would like confidential support and counselling, we encourage you to access the services Assure Programs provides. 

    You can book an appointment by calling Assure on 1800 808 374, or you can request an appointment online: https://assureprograms.com.au/book-an-appointment

    When you call Assure, please let the team know that you are from TransGrid and the business unit is “landowners”. This will ensure you are able to get the support you need. You are not expected to provide the reason – this is a conversation saved for your session with the psychologist.

    In addition, the NSW Centre for Property Acquisition has free support and counselling services available to any landowners affected by an acquisition. For more information, call 1300 029 146 or visit their website.

  • Landowner and community engagement

    Community consultation is vital to the success of the Transmission project and we will consult with local communities at each stage of the project.  

    Consultation is underway and will continue throughout 2021-2022. 

    Landowner and community feedback helps us to refine and narrow the study corridor and develop a route for the transmission lines that minimises impacts to local communities and the environment.

    People will have many opportunities to get involved and have their say including: 

    - COVID-safe meetings with landowners and community groups

    - Provide feedback about the study corridor and share information about your property and the local region via the interactive map

    - Attend community information sessions (dates, times and locations for information sessions will be advertised in local papers and on this website in advance)

    - Check this page for regular project updates and various project fact sheets.

    - Call the project hotline 1800 313 212 (toll free number) or send an email to cwo@transgrid.com.au.

    In December 2020 and February 2021, information about the project was mailed to landowners located within or near the initial study corridor and those adjacent to Wollar Substation. 

    If you have a landholding within the study corridor and you haven’t been contacted by us, you are encouraged to book a COVID-safe meeting. Please contact the project team to arrange a meeting via phone 1800 313 212 (toll free number) or email cwo@transgrid.com.au.

    Office of the Landowner and Community Advocate

    The Office of the Landowner and Community Advocate has been established within TransGrid to help us implement the best possible landowner and community engagement practices across all of our major transmission projects.

    The office is led by the former Commissioner for NSW Fair Trading, Rod Stowe, who as Landowner and Community Advocate has agreed to advise TransGrid on our engagement practices and processes.

    Mr Stowe’s advice will ensure we uphold best practice engagement and always treat everyone fairly and with respect.

    Find out more

  • Project approval

    As a Critical State Significant Infrastructure project, the transmission project is subject to rigorous environmental assessments. 

    The assessment process includes preparation of an Environmental Scoping Report (planned to be submitted in late 2021) and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the new transmission lines, new substation(s) and related infrastructure (i.e. shared network infrastructure). The EIS is expected to go on public exhibition in 2022. 

    A separate ESR has been prepared for the Wollar substation works component and was lodged to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in September 2021. The preparation of an EIS will follow. 

  • Timeline

    Late 2020
    ​Community and landowner engagement starts
    ​Late 2020
    ​Preliminary field studies and project scoping
    ​Late 2020
    ​Environmental assessment and community consultation period starts 
    ​End 2022
    ​Project is shovel-ready
    ​Mid 2020s
    ​Project commissioning

  • Online resources
  • Connect with us

    Telephone: 1800 313 212 (toll free number) 

    Email: cwo@transgrid.com.au 

    For further information about the Central-West Orana REZ, visit the NSW Government’s website www.energy.nsw.gov.au/renewable-energy-zones or contact the NSW Government via rez@planning.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 305 695.