Victorian govt puts $40m into offshore wind

Offshore wind turbines
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The Victorian Government has injected $40 million in funding to offshore wind projects to drive jobs and bring forward the next wave of renewable energy opportunities.

As part of the Energy Innovation Fund, the Labor Government is kickstarting three major offshore wind projects—from Star of the South, Macquarie Group and Flotation Energy—which have the potential to create up to 5,600 jobs, bring more than $18 billion in new investment to Victoria and power around 3.6 million homes.

Wild winds off Victoria’s coastline could see the state become an offshore wind powerhouse, driving economic development and helping us reach our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

The funding boost will support feasibility studies and pre-construction development, including environmental assessments, and adds to $96 million the companies are already investing in these projects.

Related article: Berrybank 1 Wind Farm commences operation

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 full, 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. All major projects will require a rigorous community consultation process and will be subject to a range of regulatory approvals including environmental impact assessments.

“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,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“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.”