The Tasmanian Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the owners of the Bass Offshore Wind Energy Project (BOWE) to supply northern Tasmania with green offshore wind energy.
BOWE is a multi-billion-dollar, gigawatt scale offshore wind farm proposed for the Bass Strait, north-east Tasmania. The project is set to deliver a major economic boost to northern Tasmania by providing a large-scale and renewable energy source for future green industry, such as hydrogen and aluminium at Bell Bay, as well as providing excess renewable energy into the national electricity market.
Tasmanian Energy Minister, Guy Barnett, signed the MOU, with representatives of BOWE from Norwegian energy major Equinor and Australian firm Nexsphere.
In addition to the supply of offshore wind energy, the agreement will see the parties working together to assist in northern Tasmania being declared an Offshore Renewable Energy Zone by the Federal Government.
The parties also agreed to support the growth of local jobs and economic development in northern Tasmania, the efficient planning and delivery of transmission infrastructure and port facilities, and working together on environmental issues and community consultation.
In welcoming the signing of the MOU as a significant milestone in the development of BOWE, Equinor Senior Vice President Renewables Asia Pacific, Ingunn Svegården, said, “We are thrilled to be part of BOWE and will draw upon our deep global experience and resources from 50 years of offshore energy production to ensure that the project can be safely, sensitively and successfully developed.”
Nexsphere Chief Executive Officer, Glen Kierse, thanked all parties for their support in delivering BOWE through its next milestone stage.
“By signing this MOU, all parties are aligned in their desire to see the project become a significant contributor towards Tasmania’s renewable future, as well as the creator of job opportunities throughout northern Tasmania,” Mr Kierse said.
“Globally, offshore wind is accepted as a significant component of the future renewable energy generation mix.
“This project is a critical link in supporting Tasmania to achieve its world-leading 200 per cent renewable energy target.”
The MOU is the first step of maturing the project together with the local authorities. The next stage will see BOWE progress through the feasibility licensing process once the area is declared, as set out in the Commonwealth’s Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act – a process which has already commenced in Gippsland, Victoria and will in the Hunter region in NSW soon.
The project will have an initial estimated capacity measured in the gigawatt-scale, subject to state and commonwealth government approvals and customer demand.
Featured image: Signing the Memorandum of Understanding. Courtesy of BOWE.