Australian government to announce projects for offshore wind farms off the Victorian coast


“That’s why we’ve spent the last two years implementing our plan for reliable renewables.”

The government announced the six companies to be granted preferability licences. They are: High Sea Wind, Gippsland Skies, Blue Mackerel North, Kut-Wut Brataualung, Ørsted Offshore and Star of the South.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen will announce the wind farm projects on Wednesday.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen will announce the wind farm projects on Wednesday.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

State and federal governments have set themselves ambitious targets to cut emissions and their plans hinge on cutting pollution from coal plants and using wind and solar farms to fill the gap in generating energy.

Victorian waters are considered world-class for offshore wind farms, with strong and consistent wind speeds and relatively shallow ocean areas less than 60 metres deep, which are suitable for fixed-platform wind turbines.

The Victorian government is aiming to source about 2 gigawatts – or 20 per cent of the state’s total power needs – from offshore wind by 2030 and doubling that target to 4 gigawatts by 2035 and 9 gigawatts by 2040.

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Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said Gippsland projects were crucial to reaching those goals.

“We’re proud to be paving the way for the country’s first offshore wind farms, which will harness our world-class offshore wind resources and power homes and businesses across Australia with renewable energy,” D’Ambrosio said.

Bowen said the federal government also intended to grant another six pre-feasibility licences, subject to First Nations consultation. These companies are: Aurora Green, Gippsland Dawn, Navigator North, Ørsted Offshore Australia, Kent Offshore Wind and Great Eastern Offshore Wind Farm.

While Gippsland is the most advanced wind farm, the Albanese government is seeking applications for wind farm development in five other offshore zones around the country: the Southern Ocean between south-west Victoria and Port MacDonnell in South Australia, the Illawarra and Hunter regions in NSW, the Indian Ocean off Bunbury in Western Australia, and Bass Strait in Tasmania.

The Albanese government will also announce on Wednesday progress on the first round of tenders in Victoria and South Australia under its “capacity investment scheme”, which is designed to underwrite private development in clean energy to spur enough new large-scale renewable and storage to help double the share of green power in the grid by 2030.

The government sought development of 600 megawatts of battery storage but received bids totalling 32 times the capacity it was seeking: a total of 19,000 megawatts.

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