The Victorian Government has committed to delivering Australia’s first offshore wind farms, announcing major energy targets around offshore projects.
The policy, set out in the Victorian Offshore Wind Policy Directions Paper, includes procuring projects that will generate at least 2GW of offshore wind online by 2032 – enough to power 1.5 million homes – creating thousands of jobs in the process.
The first power from offshore wind is expected as soon as 2028, following a competitive process, and targets of 4GW have been set for 2035 and 9GW for 2040.
Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said, “Today, Victoria has the lowest power prices in five years and the greatest annual increase in renewable energy of any state, ever.
“We’re not just talking about transitioning to clean energy, we’re actually delivering it – along with thousands of jobs in one of the world’s fastest growing industries and cheaper bills for millions of households.”
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “Victoria’s offshore wind resources are officially open for business, but the real work starts now.
“We know it will take years to plan and develop the first tranche of wind projects in Australia, due to their complexity, scale, regulatory and infrastructure requirements – and we’re ready to start that journey today.”
Studies show the state has the potential to support an enormous 13GW of capacity from coastal regions by 2050 – five times the state’s current renewable energy generation.
At 13GW, these offshore wind projects would generate up to 6,100 jobs in the development and construction phase and in ongoing operational jobs.
In November 2021, Victoria pledged approximately $40 million under the Energy Innovation Fund to fund feasibility studies and pre-construction development for three major offshore wind proposals: Star of the South, Macquarie Group and Flotation Energy.
Together, those three projects could generate 4.7GW of new capacity, power around 3.6 million homes and bring more than $18 billion in new investment to Victoria.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said the announcement locked in the future of a major offshore wind industry.
“Offshore wind is no longer a possibility; it’s becoming a certainty,” Mr Thornton said.
“Victoria is now leading the nation on offshore wind, and is positioning itself to reap the benefits of being at the forefront of this game-changing industry.
“The Clean Energy Council is looking forward to working with the Victorian Government to get this critical industry into the fast lane, and to ensure these nation-leading targets are met.”
The Victorian Government will now undertake an extensive consultation process to ensure that Traditional Owners, local communities and the industry collaborate on the design of the offshore wind program.
To read the directions paper, visit energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/offshore-wind.