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Full power ahead as NSW tries to enshrine net-zero goal

The NSW Labor government is looking to shore up support for its legislated net-zero target as it announces a slew of crucial coal-replacing battery projects.

The proposed state climate bill would match targets already in place at a federal level, but the party will need to win crossbench or opposition support during last-minute negotiations for the laws to pass.

They will include an independent commission to report each year on the government's progress towards a legislated goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Energy Minister Penny Sharpe says the bill, in its early form, has in-principle support from the coalition and much of the crossbench, including the Greens.

The Greens have proposed amending the bill to include a far more ambitious 2035 net-zero target, which Ms Sharpe said would form part of ongoing discussions.

"Debate will continue this week and probably into next week ... I'd hope to have it passed by Tuesday," she said.

The state is pushing ahead with $1.8 billion worth of renewable energy projects after successfully finding bidders under a joint state-federal incentive scheme.

Among the six projects announced on Wednesday are two large-scale battery projects by AGL and Akaysha Energy with a combined capacity of 915MW.

The bids fall under the Capacity Investment Scheme, backed by the Commonwealth and states, which guarantees companies pre-agreed revenue floors and ceilings.

All of the projects are aimed at being operational by December 2025.

Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen said no state was doing more than NSW when it came to emission reductions.

"A target in itself is important, but what's even more important is policies underpinning efforts," he said.

AGL's battery will be on the site of the recently closed Liddell coal-fired power station at Muswellbrook, in the Hunter region, while Akaysha's will make up part of the Orana Renewable Energy Zone, near Wellington in the central west.

Last year AGL announced it had received funding for the Liddell battery through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency after the project was granted planning approval in April.

Other projects accepted under the scheme were a 65MW battery from renewable energy company Iberdrola, to be built in western Sydney, and three virtual power plants from Enel X Australia to produce a combined 95MW.

Together, the projects will be able to dispatch the equivalent of eight per cent of the state's peak demand last summer as the government looks to replace ageing coal-fired power stations.

the Liddell Power Station
AGL will build a battery on the site of the old Liddell coal-fired power station in the Hunter.

Electricity market operator AEMO warned in August that NSW could face energy reliability shortfalls after the retirement of Eraring power station, which is due to shut in 2025.

The NSW government is in closed-door discussions with Eraring owner Origin about the possibility of keeping the station longer than planned with the backing of taxpayer funds.

The power station has a generating capacity of 2880MW, about 25 per cent of the state's electricity needs.

Ms Sharpe said the renewable projects would go some way to ease the reliability gap facing the state.

"These projects mean that things like Eraring do not need to be open one day longer than they need to."