Tomago Aluminium's decision to partner with renewable energy and storage partners would allow the Hunter Region to "step into the future", clean energy transition advocacy group Hunter Jobs Alliance believes.
The company, the state's largest power consumer, aims to switch to renewable energy by 2029.
Tomago chair David Fallu the company would play a "pivotal role" in shaping future renewable energy investment in the state.
Hunter Jobs Alliance coordinator Warrick Jordan said the initiative was the single most significant development to date in the Hunter's clean energy transition.
"This is hands down the most significant indicator the Hunter has seen that the shift to renewables to drive heavy industry is in full swing," he said.
"Moving to 24-7 renewables is no longer a nice-to-have, warm-and-fuzzies idea. The energy grid is changing and traditional power stations are closing. This just has to be done to back local jobs and keep industry going."
"If we get this right and the Hunter is deadset in the game to maintain our place as a global leader in energy and manufacturing for decades to come."
Energy Minister Matt Kean welcomed Tomago Aluminium announcement.
"The Hunter Region has been the engine room for electricity generation for decades and will provide power for NSW households and businesses for decades to come, he said.
"This announcement is proof of the steps heavy industry are taking to innovate and decarbonise. It will boost jobs in the Hunter Region and drive investment into the industry, enabling NSW to be globally competitive while reaching our net zero targets."
Mr Jordan said it was vital that state and federal governments supported the acceleration of Tomago's decarbonisation strategy.
"It's a huge step, but we shouldn't be under any illusion it will be straightforward. How it works isn't yet clear. We need to see federal and state government, and energy companies continue to work through the detail with Tomago, invest the funds, and do their part," he said.
"On one hand the community needs to stay patient and give industry and government time to get to grips with the technical detail, but this is a huge employer and the sooner we're at the point of seeing the roadmap laid out the more confidence there will be."
AGL, which has an energy supply contract with Tomago Aluminium, is developing clean energy precinct at the site of the former Liddell power station. A spokeswoman said AGL was working to assist Tomago achieve its decarbonisation goal.
"AGL is committed to the Hunter and continues to progress plans to transform our coal generation sites into low-carbon industrial energy hubs, with work already underway on the Liddell Energy Hub," she said.
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