Australian government progresses first proposed offshore wind development zone

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 05/08/2022 4C Offshore

The Australian government's Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has officially initiated the process to declare waters in Bass Strait off Gippsland, Victoria as the first area for the development of offshore wind. Starting the process to declare Gippsland as an area for offshore wind development is expected to give greater certainty to the industry, the local supply chain, and communities.

The government has launched a consultation seeking feedback from local communities and maritime users before it makes a decision on the final areas. Submissions are required before 7 October 2022 and will help inform the Minister’s decision on whether the proposed area is suitable for offshore renewable energy.
Once the area has been officially designated for to offshore wind development, project developers are required to apply for a feasibility licence. This would be followed by technical and environmental studies to obtain planning and environmental approvals. Before proceeding to install and operate infrastructure developers would also need to secure a commercial licence.

Several proposed wind farm projects are located within the area of consideration including the
Great Eastern, Greater Gippsland, Star of the South,and Seadragon projects.

The Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Chris Bowen also announced the next zones that will enter the consultation phase including the Pacific Ocean region of Portland in Victoria, the Bass Strait region off northern Tasmania and the Indian Ocean region off Perth and Bunbury in Western Australia.

The announcement follows news earlier this month Geelong Port, located on the shores of Corio Bay at Geelong, Victoria, Australia, has released plans to develop up to 25 hectares of land for a wind farm hub to support Victoria’s growing renewables industry.
Located at Oyster Cove near GeelongPort’s Lascelles Wharf, the precinct will provide facilities for the berthing, laydown and construction of equipment for onshore and offshore wind farm projects.

The Victorian Government has committed to a 2032 offshore wind target for Victoria of at least 2 GW, aiming for first power to come progressively online from 2028. It also set further targets of 4 GW for 2035 and 9 GW for 2040.

For more information on offshore wind farms being developed off the coast of Australia, click here.