Australia has no offshore wind power, but that’s about to change

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Australia is about to get its first offshore wind farms. The three projects will consist of two floating wind farms and one fixed-bottom wind farm, with a total installed capacity of 4.3 gigawatts.

Australia’s Energy Estate and Spain-headquartered BlueFloat Energy, which are partnered to develop offshore wind projects in Australia and New Zealand, are developing these three projects.

The floating wind farms will be installed off the coast of Australia’s New South Wales, and the bottom-fixed wind farm will sit off the Victoria coast.

BlueFloat Energy, which develops offshore wind projects, announced the details of the three offshore wind farms:

Hunter Coast Offshore Wind Project: A 1.4 GW project that will use floating wind technology and will be located off the coast south of Newcastle in the Hunter Coast region of NSW. This project will support the revitalization of the Hunter region as it transitions from coal-fired power. It will supply existing large energy users such as Tomago’s aluminium smelter as well as the emerging loads such as green hydrogen being promoted by the Hunter Hydrogen Hub.

Wollongong Offshore Wind Project: A 1.6 GW project that will also use floating wind technology and will be located across two sites off the coast from Wollongong in the Illawarra region of NSW. This large-scale floating wind project will support the existing industrial ecosystem in the Illawarra and facilitate the growth of new industries in the region, including green hydrogen for export and domestic markets such as mobility.

Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project: A 1.3 GW project that will use bottom-fixed technology and will be located off the coast of the Gippsland region of Victoria, in the Bass Strait. This large-scale offshore wind project builds on the momentum for an accelerated retirement of brown coal projects in the La Trobe Valley and is intended to complement the existing and planned transmission infrastructure in Gippsland.

Nick Sankey, BlueFloat Energy’s country manager in Australia, said:

The timing of our announcement comes hot on the heels of Australia’s federal government passing legislation that provides a framework for developing offshore wind projects here. This is a pivotal step as the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 establishes a regulatory scaffold to enable the construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of offshore electricity infrastructure.

The two companies did not indicate a timeline for the three offshore wind projects.

Read more: Western Australia plans to build world’s largest clean energy hub

Photo: Emiliano Arano/BlueFloat Energy


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