Energy generating projects (including wind and solar developments) are classified as state significant developments. State Significant Developments (SSD) are deemed to have state significance due to the size, economic value, or potential impacts. They are assessed at a state level rather than the local council level.
EnergyCo (Energy Corporation of NSW) is the statutory body responsible for developing and co-ordinating the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap. It is the department responsible for planning in the 5 REZ’s (Renewable Energy Zones) – Central-West Orana, New England, South West, Hunter -Central Coast and Illawarra regions. EnergyCo operates under the direction of the NSW energy minister, Matthew Kean.
Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) manages electricity and gas systems and markets across Australia. They do not have capacity to over-rule or control generation, only how the energy is shifted around the states.
State significant projects are assessed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The main steps in this assessment are shown in the following diagram from State Significant Development Guidelines, November 2021.