Tom Warren, a farmer whose land hosts a solar farm near Dubbo, says more renewables will help revive regional economies. Credit: Janie Barrett
This week, the government said the plan to foster installation of 3000 megawatts of new-generation capacity in the Central West renewable zone had drawn interest from investors for nine times that amount.
So strong was the response, Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean said, that “there’s absolutely room to increase the capacity”. The other two zones, in New England and the Riverina, are also likely to attract strong interest.
“It will see Dubbo and the Central West become the powerhouse of NSW and the powerhouse of our nation,” he predicted. “It’s a win for NSW, delivering cheap, clean energy.”
Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro, who has often advocated coal and gas over renewables, has lately been more supportive of the jobs wind and solar farms can bring to rural communities.