The Victorian Government has announced $40 million for three offshore wind projects as part of the Energy Innovation Fund.
The projects, led by Star of the South, Macquarie Group and Flotation Energy, 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.
The funding boost will support feasibility studies and pre-construction development, including environmental assessments, and adds to the $96 million the companies are already investing in these projects.
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.
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 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.”
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.”