BlueFloat Energy and Energy Estate expand Australian offshore wind project

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 08/09/2022 BlueFloat Energy
BlueFloat Energy and Energy Estate announced that they have expanded the proposed capacity of the Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project from 1.275GW to 2.085 GW. The project is located in the Bass Strait off the coast of Gippsland in Victoria and will feature bottom-fixed technology. 

The increase in the capacity of the Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project to over 2GW results from its detailed analysis of the investigation area announced in 2021 and its potential for offshore wind. According to the two companies, it takes into account the proposed offshore zone area, available grid capacity, accelerated retirement of coal fired energy generation and the Australian Government’s support for an increasing but orderly transition to renewable energy.
“It’s no surprise that Gippsland was selected as the first declared area given the region´s obvious advantages – excellent wind resources, a strong skills base with a maritime heritage, a long history of industrial development, and it is home to a well-established offshore energy industry already” said Nick Sankey, Country Manager for BlueFloat Energy.  

“Projects like the Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project will build on the momentum for the accelerated retirement of brown coal-fired power stations and complement the existing and planned transmission infrastructure investments in Gippsland. There is also clear political will and a strong appetite for the necessary renewables-led economic evolution that is coming; this was extremely evident at the successful and well attended Gippsland New Energy Conference held in Sale in August,” said Mr Sankey. 

“The expansion of our Gippsland project is aligned with the Victorian Government’s ambitious target for offshore wind generation” said Simon Currie, Founder of Energy Estate. “It demonstrates BlueFloat Energy and Energy Estate’s commitment to the development of large-scale projects, which can enhance long term energy security in Victoria and across the National Electricity Market (NEM).“ 

BlueFloat Energy and Energy Estate have a portfolio of offshore wind projects in development in Australia including the Hunter Coast Offshore Wind Project and the Wollongong Offshore Wind Project in NSW and the Southern Winds Offshore Wind Project in Victoria.  The partners are also assessing further sites for large scale offshore wind projects across Australia. 

Last month, the Australian government's Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water announced it 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 Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Chris Bowen also announced last month that 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 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 worldwide, click here.