New South Wales has become the first recipient of a loan from the Australian government's $20 billion Rewiring the Nation fund. 

The state’s $100 million loan is aimed at bolstering grid infrastructure and supporting renewable energy projects, including long-duration storage.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is responsible for disbursing the funds, with this announcement marking the first step in the ambitious climate goals set by the Albanese government, targeting 82 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

Ian Learmonth, CEO of the CEFC, has emphasised the significance of this investment in underpinning clean energy development in regional NSW.

“Rebuilding our energy system is a large and complex task, with infrastructure projects requiring considerable capital, expertise and time to bring online,” he said. 

“As a specialist financier, we are able to use our capital to support investment flows through to project delivery and revenue generation, providing confidence to the market and private sector investors.”

Under NSW's electricity infrastructure roadmap, the state plans to deliver an additional 12 gigawatts of renewable energy generation and 2 gigawatts of long-duration storage, which is expected to attract over $32 billion in private investments.

Gloria Chan, Executive Director for Rewiring the Nation at CEFC, has clarified that the $100 million loan will enhance liquidity for NSW's Scheme Financial Vehicle (SFV), enabling it to support renewable energy, transmission, and storage projects. 

She also expressed hope that commercial banks would follow suit once the SFV's financials stabilise.

While landholders have raised concerns about big transmission projects through rural communities in NSW and Victoria, the government is taking steps to ensure a smooth transition. 

Brett Redman, CEO of Transgrid, which is overseeing the HumeLink project, noted their commitment to reaching agreements with landholders, even if it requires compulsory acquisitions to ensure the success of the energy transition.