NSW has allocated $413 million for new renewable energy projects.

The NSW Government says it will inject an additional $413 million into rural communities to accelerate renewable energy projects while addressing concerns about the stagnation of Australia's clean energy transition. 

In response to the complete lack of wind farm approvals since May 2021, new guidelines are set to be released for consultation that consider ways to compensate rural local governments. 

Payments of $850 per megawatt of capacity per annum for 25 years will be offered for hosting new solar farms, and $1050/MW per annum for new wind farms. 

These payments are in addition to existing lease agreements and compensations for land use.

The proposed changes would also see the state’s planning minister gain the authority to designate large storage projects, such as vital battery or pumped hydro facilities exceeding 750 MW, as “critical state significant infrastructure”.

Landowners hosting high voltage transmission lines will be eligible to receive $400,000 per kilometre over 20 years.

Also under the changes, wind towers exceeding 250 metres must be set back at least two kilometres from homes. Additionally, 80-metre transmission towers for 500 kilovolt powerlines, like Humelink, would require a minimum setback of 380 metres from homes.

“We want communities and industry to provide feedback, so we can crack on with delivering the renewable energy NSW needs,” says NSW Minister for Energy Penny Sharpe.

The draft guidelines highlight the necessity of constructing 4000 km of new transmission lines to boost hosting capacity for large-scale wind and solar generation in proposed renewable energy zones, aiming to reach 125GW from the current 16GW.

The government says more details, including modelling, will be released soon.