System security and reliabilityProject TransGrid New England Renewable Hub (REHub) Feasibility Study
This report provides an overview of a feasibility study in the New England region in NSW where a number of renewable projects have been progressing independently of each other.
Generators need timely, cost effective connections
Where multiple applications are received from generators for connection in the same area an early application will affect the outcome for following applications, perhaps to the extent of precluding them if the later connecting party faces higher connection costs. Where the network capacity is limited relative to the number of generators seeking to connect in an area with a strong energy resource, this can have the effect of leaving the resource under-utilised, resulting in a less favourable national economic outcome as the generation supply side is progressively filled from sub-optimal sources.
One of the most significant challenges for renewable energy developers is the ability to secure appropriate connection to the electricity network. There is a need for scale efficient grid connections in areas of superior renewable energy resources. Appropriately priced these will help overcome first mover cost disadvantages.
They will also serve to lower the barrier faced by following generators seeking connection locations with available capacity. Cost reduction and connection certainty will together encourage maximum use of good renewable energy resources.
A shared connection or Renewable Hub (REHub) is likely to provide connection at a lower cost when compared to the alternative of each project developing stand-alone connections. The design of a REHub and the regulatory classification of the services it provides will have an impact on the recovery over time of its costs, and which parties bear those costs. The presence of a REHub will give developers greater certainty of connection and will likely act to encourage further renewable energy development. Development of the first-of-a-kind REHub will provide a framework suitable for replication in other locations.