Last updated: 29 Aug 2023
Our work so far
Transpower is considering the concept of Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) and exploring whether REZ are right for New Zealand.
Renewable Energy Zones are a way of connecting new renewable electricity generation and major electricity users to the electricity network. In a REZ, multiple parties agree together to co-locate and share the costs of a single connection to the grid, as well as possible network upgrades required to enable the new load and use. The REZ model provides efficiencies of time and planning as well as cost, and we have seen internationally that REZ have been instrumental in quickly increasing new energy supply and use.
Our consultation on REZ
Transpower selected Northland as a possible location to test the concept of a REZ in New Zealand. This location, and the work we did with Top Energy and Northpower, provided a real-life example for stakeholders to consider, helping us discover what potential might exist for a REZ.
Our consultation in 2022 generated wide interest and engagement and we received 129 submissions on our proposal. We thank those who submitted to the consultation or took the time to meet with us to discuss their views and ideas on how REZ could be progressed. We are also grateful for the efforts of Top Energy and Northpower in supporting our consultation and engagement. More information about the consultation and submissions.
Our developing thinking
The many submissions we received gave us deep insight into the opportunities and challenges REZ will potentially create. We had originally anticipated delivering a decision about whether and how to progress REZ in the third quarter of 2022. However, the considerations and complexities raised through the consultation have instead led us to rethink what New Zealand REZ might look like, and we are continuing to work these ideas through with our government and regulatory stakeholders.
In parallel, we continue to progress joint planning activities with the Northland and other electricity lines businesses to support new renewable generation and load across New Zealand.
Our next steps
As we progress our discussions about what regulatory and policy changes might be required to support a REZ with the relevant stakeholders, we are also keeping in mind what potential steps would be required to deliver and implement a REZ in New Zealand. We will provide updates on this page, and announcements when any decisions are reached.
To reach the team with your questions or thoughts, please email [email protected].