Renewable energy body to boost sector in southeast NSW and ACT

renewA new clean energy network has been established to look after the interests of 16 local government areas across southeast NSW and the ACT.
The South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence (SERREE) aims to promote environmental sustainability while increasing growth and productivity in the regions’ economies.
The SERREE network is comprised of representatives from federal, state and territory and local governments; business, industry and education and skills training sectors; research institutions and the community.
The southeast NSW and ACT region is abundant with solar, wind, hydro, biomass, wave and geothermal natural renewable energy resources; according to SERREE, with renewable energy infrastructure and industry participation it could feed power into the Sydney and Melbourne grids.
SERREE project officer Craig Hanicek said the collaboration between government and private enterprise would bring great results.
“The synergies are there, so really collaboration is a no-brainer,” Mr Hanicek said. “It then just becomes a question of how best to do it.”
The creation of SERREE is to be closely followed by the start of work on the first utility-scale solar project in the ACT, the 20 megawatt Royalla solar farm, set to begin next month.
“And that is only the start, with another three solar farms and six wind projects in the pipeline,” Mr Hanicek said.
The Royalla solar farm is being developed by global solar power company FRV about 23km south of Canberra; it will comprise about 83,000 photovoltaic panels to power about 4500 Canberra homes.
According to SERREE there is strong interest in possible wind energy projects in NSW: the state has about 2000MW of new wind generation proposals and 6700MW of projects currently under assessment.
Projects currently being planned and developed have the potential to add between 875MW and 1085MW of additional capacity to the state’s wind power and generate between $1.9 billion and $2.3 billion in capital investment.
SERREE is working to optimise the renewable energy sector and find new ways to be sustainable across 18 months. The ACT alone has a renewable energy target of 90 per cent by 2020.