The New South Wales (NSW) government has announced an investment of A$1.2bn ($850m) to be made over the next 10 years under the Transmission Acceleration Facility to expedite critical energy infrastructure.

According to NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean, the facility will help in fast tracking the renewable energy zones that are required to take over from the existing power stations which are set to retire.

The Transmission Acceleration Facility, which is part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget, will fund the development stages of transmission and other infrastructure, said the Minister.

Kean said that the facility is NSW’s largest ever investment in infrastructure for renewable energy. The investment is anticipated to help generate 2,700 direct construction jobs across the Australian state.

The Minister said: “We estimate the Facility will drive at least A$14 billion in private transmission infrastructure investment with all government contributions to be fully recovered.

“Energy prices are up because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and unplanned outages at coal-fired power stations. Fast-tracking the construction of renewable energy is the best way to reduce our exposure to these risks and take advantage of cleaner, cheaper power sources.”

Currently, more than 50 large-scale renewable energy projects, with a combined capacity of nearly 16GW, are advancing through the NSW planning system. But many of the projects could never move ahead without additional capacity across the NSW transmission network, said Kean.

The Transmission Acceleration Facility will be delivered by the Energy Corporation of NSW.

The facility will fund development activities pertaining to new transmission projects to deliver the A$32bn ($22.8bn) Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, that was unveiled in late 2020.

The funding for the development is likely to be recovered and recycled into new projects.

The first of the investments to be made under the new facility will be into the Waratah Super Battery, a 700MW standby network battery, which will be dedicated to support the state’s transmission grid.