Victoria sets offshore wind targets of 9GW by 2040

March 11, 2022 at 1:35 am Leave a comment

The Victorian Government has set new offshore wind farm targets. Currently there are no offshore wind farms operating in the state, although the Star of the South Project off the Gippsland Coast is well progressed in planning.

The new offshore wind targets:

  • 2032 – target of 2 GW 
  • 2035 – target of 4 GW 
  • 2040 – target of 9 GW 
  • 2050 – potential capacity of 13 GW

There are already 3 offshore wind farms on the drawing boards. The 2.1GW Star of the South is the most advanced offshore wind farm project, with estimated construction from 2025 and completion in 2028.

Two other projects have received starter funding from the Victorian Government: Macquarie Group will receive $16.1 million to facilitate initial development stages of a 1GW offshore wind farm (Great Southern 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 (Seadragon Offshore Wind Farm) off the coast of Gippsland.

Together, those three projects could generate 4.7 GW of new capacity, exceeding the 2035 target and meeting about 40 percent of Victoria’s current electricity consumption.

Luke Hilakari, Secretary Victorian Trades Hall Council made the following statement:

This is an announcement that all Victorians can be proud of. This will create thousands of new jobs and give birth to a huge new industry in Victoria.

Victoria will become the national home of offshore wind which could lead to the development of a green hydrogen export industry. This is both good news for Victorian jobs and the air we breathe.

After years of inaction and outright hostility to renewable energy from the Federal Government, we have to fight harder than ever for renewables. It has again taken leadership from the Andrews Government to create the jobs of the future.

In the face of inevitable transition, it is the job of unions to make sure that every worker in the energy industry is looked after. Generations of energy workers have helped build Victoria and it is important that they have a genuine ongoing seat at the table. This is the only way we can ensure that workers and their families have well-paid and secure jobs into the future.

VTHC Statement

“The Andrews government’s announcement positions Victoria as a national leader in offshore wind – a critical sector for the state’s energy transition.” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson. “Establishing an offshore wind sector in Victoria will be critical for delivering the deep emissions cuts needed to avoid worsening climate impacts” .

The announcement is seen as a win for the Gippsland community, the climate movement and union movement which have been campaigning to kickstart a jobs-rich offshore wind sector, according to a Friends of the Earth statement.

“Gippslanders are proud of their history and expertise in powering Victoria. This offshore wind target provides certainty about the future of energy that communities have been calling for,” said Wendy Farmer, Friends of the Earth’s Gippsland campaigner.

With the Yallourn coal fired power station set to close by 2028 at the latest, communities like the Latrobe Valley need all governments to show leadership on renewable energy.

“Will we see the Federal Morrison government match Victoria’s ambition on offshore wind?” asked Wendy Farmer. “It’s time for Energy Minister Angus Taylor to get on with a Gippsland Offshore Wind Zone so these critical projects can get started.”

An estimated total of 6,100 jobs in the development and construction phase and in ongoing operational jobs are likely to be created by the offshore wind farms. Development and construction phases is likely to create 3,100 local jobs for 15 years. An additional 3,000 ongoing jobs are likely to be required for ongoing operations.

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.”

Victorian Government is planning a consultation process to ensure that Traditional Owners, local communities, and industry can contribute and engage in the establishment of offshore wind.

Further reading

Entry filed under: Just Transition, Labors Climate Record, news, renewable energy, Victorian Government, wind power. Tags: , , , .

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