Map of offshore wind zone declared for Illawarra, NSW
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The Federal Government has declared an offshore wind zone area, approximately 1,022km², in the Pacific Ocean between Wombarra and Kiama, New South Wales. 

The Illawarra offshore wind zone has been amended from its original proposal following extensive community consultation with local leaders, industry, unions, First Nations people, community groups and individuals. 

In response to feedback, Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, has declared an area that: 

  • Is smaller than originally proposed 
  • Is 20km offshore to minimise visual impacts (10km further out than originally proposed) 
  • Allows space for the safe management of shipping to and from Port Kembla 
  • Is large enough to support development of offshore wind in the Illawarra 
  • Avoids significant environmental areas including: 
    • Marine parks 
    • A biologically important area for the little penguin 
    • Shelf Rocky Reef key ecological feature 
    • Southern Right Whale migration and reproduction area 

About 90 per cent of Australia’s ageing coal fired power stations are expected to close by 2035. The Federal Government said offshore wind offers a large scale, secure, reliable and clean energy source for the electricity network to help keep the lights on in homes, businesses, and communities. 

The declared area has the potential to generate up to 2.9GW of renewable wind energy, enough to power 1.8 million homes. 

The Federal Government said it read more than 14,200 submissions during the consultation period and met with community members, First Nations people, government and industry. 

Interested companies will need to apply for a feasibility licence between 17 June and 15 August 2024. 

There will be more: 

  • Investigations 
  • Environmental assessments 
  • Approvals 
  • Consultation with the local community, government, industry and First Nations people 

Companies are expected to maximise local content and demonstrate their contribution to local and Australian communities by using Australian goods and services. 

Featured image: A map of the Illawarra offshore wind zone. Courtesy of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. 

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