Modernising our electricity grid
Rewiring the Nation is our program to make clean energy more accessible and affordable across Australia.
This program is investing $20 billion to modernise our electricity grid and infrastructure. This is a centrepiece of the Australian Government’s Powering Australia plan. Together, these will lower power prices and provide renewable energy across the nation.
Many of Australia’s energy assets, like power stations, are ageing. That’s why we need to invest in essential upgrades and new projects to ensure we have reliable power supply.
New transmission lines will deliver renewable energy to cities, towns and regional communities. This will provide reliable and affordable electricity to Australians.
The plan will also help Australia meet its emissions reduction target of 43% by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. This major investment is a key part of how Australia responds to climate change through growing our renewable energy sector.
Working with communities
We’re improving how we engage with communities to ensure energy infrastructure benefits their lives.
We’re working to improve community support for renewable energy infrastructure projects. Community and stakeholder consultation will lead to better regulatory reform and policy development.
Communities will benefit from:
- guidance for landholders and communities about their rights and entitlements
- new reforms for earlier and better engagement
- having the opportunity to raise concerns.
Community engagement reform will include:
- developing national guidelines on community engagement and impact evaluation
- expanding CSIRO’s national survey on Australian attitudes towards energy transformation
- working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop the First Nations Clean Energy Strategy.
Community Engagement Review
The Minister for Climate Change and Energy announced a Community Engagement Review on 4 July 2023. The Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner is leading the review. The review will advise how to engage communities with renewable energy infrastructure projects.
Financing the energy transformation
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is administering $19 billion of low-cost finance for Rewiring the Nation. The CEFC will ensure the effective management of financial resources to support this initiative.
In addition to this $19 billion of financing, $1 billion has been allocated to the Rewiring the Nation Special Account.
The Special Account will enable us to invest in the timely delivery of eligible projects.
Special Account investments require approval from relevant Ministers and can include:
- complementary equity investments
- underwriting and other financing to support delivery.
Delivering priority transmission projects
We’re working with state and territory governments to deliver significant transmission projects.
The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) released the Integrated System Plan (ISP) in 2022. The ISP provides a 20-year forecast of the National Electricity Market’s infrastructure needs. The plan recommends investing in transmission to ensure the supply of reliable and secure energy.
The ISP shows that by 2050 we need more than:
- 10,000 km of new transmission lines
- 9 times the large-scale renewable energy generation we currently have.
We are also creating a Nationally Significant Transmission Projects Framework to speed up delivery.
Working with states and territories
We’re working with state and territory governments to fast-track our energy transformation. This will ensure we quickly implement key projects to transport power supply across the nation.
To deliver key projects, the Australian Government has to date entered into agreements with:
- the New South Wales Government
- the Tasmanian Government
- the Victorian Government
- the Western Australian Government
New South Wales
We’ve committed $4.7 billion to support investment in New South Wales (NSW) transmission projects.
Priority projects include:
- the Victoria-New South Wales Interconnector West (VNI West)
- the HumeLink
- the Sydney Ring
- Renewable Energy Zones in New England and the Hunter Central Coast.
The NSW Government has also committed $3.1 billion to transmission projects and progressing regulatory changes.
Funding to support renewable energy projects
The CEFC will provide $100 million to support renewable energy projects in NSW. This will provide funding for the NSW Scheme Financial Vehicle (SFV).
The funding will support energy service agreements and private sector contracts for:
- priority transmission projects
- Renewable Energy Zones.
The SFV will encourage private investment to deliver NSW's Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.
We’ve committed to providing low-cost finance to Marinus Link. This will enable new transmission lines in Victoria and Tasmania. It will also boost economic activity and support thousands of jobs.
We’ve also committed to supporting eligible Battery of the Nation and grid firming projects. This will create jobs and support energy reliability.
We’ve committed $2.25 billion of concessional financing to Victorian projects. This includes Renewable Energy Zones in Victoria, offshore wind projects and the Victoria-New South Wales Interconnector (VNI West).
We’ve also committed to coordinating the Victorian and Commonwealth regulatory processes. This will support the rapid development of the Victorian offshore wind industry.
We’ve committed up to $3 billion to modernise the electricity networks in Western Australia. This includes news builds and major upgrades to:
- the North West Interconnected System
- the South West Interconnected System.
- The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is administering this program’s finances
- The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is providing technical advice for this program
- The Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner (AEIC) is providing advice to communities who are concerned about energy infrastructure projects.
- Powering Australia
- Rewiring the Nation (energy.gov.au)
- National Energy Transformation Partnership
- Offshore Renewable Energy Policy
- First Nations Clean Energy Strategy
- Australian Renewable Energy Agency
- Improving community engagement and support for renewable energy infrastructure
For more information about Rewiring the Nation, please email RewiringtheNation@dcceew.gov.au.