14 November 2023

The NSW Government is getting the state’s energy transition back on track by releasing new draft guidelines to accelerate the planning approval and construction of wind, solar and transmission infrastructure.

Feedback is being sought on draft guidelines which are designed to promote faster decisions, provide certainty to investors and industry, and improve transparency for communities.

The draft guidelines provide clarity on how noise, visual and other community impacts should be evaluated and managed through the development assessment process.

They also propose new benefit-sharing arrangements through planning agreements with councils across NSW. Renewable energy projects are expected to deliver more than $400 million to support local government initiatives over the next 25 years.

This is in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars available under the NSW Government’s Community and Employment Benefit Program in Renewable Energy Zones.

The draft guidelines are aligned with recommendations made by the Electricity Supply and Reliability Check Up and the NSW Agriculture Commissioner’s report on renewable energy generation and agriculture.

A range of draft tools to help landholders considering hosting renewable energy development are also on public exhibition.

Development of large-scale solar and wind energy projects are critical to delivering a secure and affordable supply of electricity and achieving NSW’s Net Zero targets.

All stakeholders including industry, councils and residents are encouraged to have their say on the draft guidelines before Monday, 18 December 2023.

The Department of Planning and Environment will review submissions and finalise the proposed guidelines in early 2024.

To have your say visit: planning.nsw.gov.au/energy-policy-framework

Quote attributable to Minister for Energy Penny Sharpe:

“We want communities and industry to provide feedback so we can crack-on with delivering the renewable energy NSW needs.

“The draft guidelines are critical to delivering renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The guidelines also suggest how communities can benefit from the transition. Community feedback is essential and we look forward to it.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully:

“It’s vital that the planning system adapts and evolves so we can deliver the energy generation and transmission infrastructure our state needs into the future.

“These proposed new guidelines will support faster decisions and clearer rules that will increase certainty for the industry and communities.”