A $1 billion project to bolster energy security from NSW to South Australia will provide hundreds of jobs for the Riverina if approved.
On Thursday, the NSW government declared the Project EnergyConnect as Critical State Significant Infrastructure.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the TransGrid project, if approved, will see the construction of transmission lines from the border of South Australia to Wagga. There will also be an additional connection to Victoria's grid.
"It could also provide a major boost to local NSW economies, creating 800 regional jobs during construction and 700 ongoing jobs," he said.
TransGrid's chief executive Paul Italiano said the classification means the planning approval process can be accelerated to meet delivery deadlines.
The line will create a supply path between South Australia and NSW, which aims to reduce the impact of outages in extreme weather.
"Any section of the network could break down, and you could still have energy flowing around the system," Mr Italiano said. "It's a very significant contribution to the system's security."
The Environmental Impact Statement is set to be displayed in the second half of 2020 with major construction to start by mid-2021. Phase two, from Buronga to Wagga, is to be delivered by mid-2023.
The project report states typical residential electricity bills are estimated to be reduced annually by $30 in NSW.
Richard Allsopp, the chairman of Regional Development Australia Riverina, said it appears to be a win-win.
"More reliable electricity, a major amount of money spent, 800 initial jobs and 700 ongoing jobs, and electricity prices could come down," he said.
"The energy security will encourage more businesses to come here.
"They will think 'they have power, they have water, they have infrastructure'."
Wagga City Council's director of regional activation Michael Keys said in the long term the project would provide employment and upskilling opportunities.
"I hope to construct a close relationship with TransGrid to look at future opportunities," he said.
Wagga MP Joe McGirr said a TransGrid upgrade is fundamental to making sure NSW has access to affordable, sustainable power.
"We need to be able to source reliable energy from resources, including renewables; and an updated, reliable grid is key to the continued responsible growth of our communities," he said.
"It is absolutely critical, and I look forward to following the project's feedback and assessment ahead of the final approval."