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Australian state eyes 100 percent renewables grid in 10 years

Transgrid outlined an AUS$16.5 billion investment proposal: AUS$14 billion in new transmission infrastructure, another AUS$2.2 billion in new system security infrastructure and AUS$300 million in new operational tools and adding specialist, trained employees. Image: Pexels

Australia's most populus state could have a 100 renewable energy-based grid within 10 years, the state's power transmission company said.

Transgrid, operator of the electricity transmission network in New South Wales (NSW), has outlined an AUS$16.5 billion investment plan that entails AUS$14 billion of expenditure on new infrastructure. NSW is home to Sydney, Australia's second most populus city, and Canberra, the country's capital.

The company said it would build a 2,500 km energy superhighway that would integrate five renewable energy zones, connect new large-scale renewable energy and storage to the grid, and expand connectivity between other Australian states.

The company said over 80 percent of NSW's coal-fired capacity expected to retire by 2033, while 28 gigawatt (GW) of new renewable and storage capacity will come online during the same period, necessitating an "urgent" acceleration in energy transition investment. Last week, a coal-fired power plant was converted into a battery energy storage unit in the neighboring state of Victoria.

Transgrid expects to funnel AUS$2.2 billion into new system security infrastructure that will replace the services currently provided by coal generators, and a further AUS$300 million in building new operational tools and adding specialist, trained employees. 

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