The Victorian Government has announced a $40 million funding boost for offshore wind projects, kickstarting three major projects across the state and potentially creating 5,600 jobs.
As part of the Energy Innovation Fund, the Victorian Government is funding three major offshore wind projects – from Star of the South, Macquarie Group and Flotation Energy – bringing $18 billion in investment to Victoria and powering around 3.6 million homes.
The funding boost will support feasibility studies and pre-construction development, including environmental assessments.
- The Star of the South will receive $19.5 million to support pre-construction development activities for an offshore wind farm off the Gippsland coast. If built to its proposed scale, it would have up to 2.2GW of capacity – enough power to provide nearly 20 per cent of Victoria’s energy needs
- Macquarie Group will receive $16.1 million to facilitate initial development stages of a 1GW offshore wind farm off the Bass Coast
- Flotation Energy will receive $2.3 million for scoping studies and surveys for a 1.5GW offshore wind farm off the coast of Gippsland
The funding will help each company conduct studies to determine the exact location of each project, with all major projects requiring a rigorous community consultation process, and subject to a range of regulatory approvals including environmental impact assessments.
Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said, “Victoria is the clean energy capital of Australia – we’ve led the way on renewables, created 24,000 jobs with our VRET target alone, supported a thriving supply chain of businesses and attracted billions in investment.
“Offshore wind is the next step to create thousands of high skilled jobs, and we know we’re ready with a highly skilled workforce able to step into them.”
Wild winds off Victoria’s coastline, which are among the best in Australia and the world, could help the state reach its target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
The Clean Energy Council said that the milestone announcement by the Victorian Government is critical to kick-starting the state’s offshore wind industry.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said that the announcement sends a positive signal to investors.
“Victoria can be an offshore wind powerhouse and the zone off the Gippsland coast has been recognised by the Australian Energy Market Operator as being critical to the clean energy transition,” Mr Thornton said.
“The technology will be a cornerstone of a clean, modern electricity grid.
“Additionally, offshore wind projects and their proximity to regions most impacted by the retirement of fossil fuel generators will provide critical job opportunities for workers and their communities.”
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “This is the largest single offshore wind announcement in Australia’s history and places Victoria at the forefront of this pivotal new sector.
“Offshore wind projects have the potential to create gigawatts of reliable, renewable energy and help us deliver on our ambitious target to halve emissions by 2030.”