A feasibility study on the establishment of a connection hub for potential renewable energy operators in the New England region in northern New South Wales to connect to the grid.
How the project works
This feasibility study investigated the technical and commercial aspects of a proposed REHub in the New England region, and provided the foundation for a proof of concept for its construction. A key objective of the feasibility study was to provide a framework that is repeatable in other locations to ensure that the uptake and rollout of REHubs can be achieved efficiently, ensuring communities and consumers benefit ultimately from clean and sustainable energy solutions within the National Electricity Market framework. The study, also identified ways to deal with the risk of stranded assets and to ensure the parties bearing the risk receive a return commensurate with the risk.
Area of innovation
A Renewable Energy Hub (REHub) or shared connection has the potential to provide a cost effective connection compared to the alternative of each project developing stand-alone connections. A REHub would consist of an energy collection system (transmission lines connecting each renewable energy generator to a central point), a point of connection itself (330kV hub substation), and any other associated facilities.
The presence of a REHub would give developers greater certainty of connection and will act to encourage further renewable energy development. The Hub concept is applicable wherever multiple decentralised generators of any type require a grid connection. In the New England region there is potential to connect and capture more than 700MW of renewable energy generation. Without a REHub, the capacity to connect additional generation without constraint is limited to 120MW.