The Hunter was once a coal powered city—now the future is large-scale renewable energy21 October 2019
The Hunter Region is transforming into a hot spot for renewable energy, with billions of dollars-worth of large-scale projects planned.
One of the leaders committed to this transformation is the University of Newcastle, pledging to buy 100% renewable energy. It is a clear shift from coal-fired electricity, with this type of transition also occurring across the globe.
Previous coal lead organisations like Malabar Coal, have taken a step in the renewable energy direction by finalising a development application for a solar farm at the old Drayton Mine site near Muswellbrook. AGL is also among the leaders taking charge during this transition period with a development application for a gas-fired power station to be finalised in mid-November. Along with its pumped hydro scheme AGL’s plan is to only rely on non-renewable power during peak periods.
A 250 megawatt wind farm at Bowman’s Creek, a 250 megawatt pumped hydro scheme at Bells Mountain and a 250 megawatt gas-fired power station at Tomago are other large-scale renewable energy projects due to be operating in the Hunter Region within the next decade.
During this transition period, Australia has seen a rise of 28% in full-time or equivalent jobs in the renewable energy industry. With a large number of projects planned for the Hunter we would expect this industry and job growth to continue in the Region.