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The Victorian Government has announced the Offshore Wind Implementation Statement 3 which is set to help guide the industry towards its offshore wind development goals. 

The Victorian Government has set targets of at least 2G of offshore wind energy generation by 2032, 4GW by 2035 and 9GW by 2040.

Implementation Statement 3 outlines the parameters for the proposed support package for the first tranche of offshore wind projects in Victoria – giving industry the certainty and confidence they need to establish their operations locally. This will be run through a competitive auction process to be rolled out in 2025 with contracts awarded in 2026. 

The Statement also provides an update on VicGrid’s approach to the coordination of transmission using its Options Assessment Method that has been developed in consultation with landholders, communities and stakeholders. Preferred transmission project options will be announced in 2024.

The Statement outlines workforce opportunities across all stages of offshore wind farm development, meaning jobs for Victorians in trade professions, engineering, administrative and other roles.

Victoria also has the potential to support and facilitate the establishment of the offshore wind industry at several ports in addition to the Victorian Renewable Energy Terminal at the Port of Hastings.

A fit-for-purpose regulatory framework is also being developed to support the industry to ensure the environment is protected as the industry grows. Existing frameworks to protect the marine and coastal environments will apply, and information products and tools are being developed to specifically support planning for offshore wind energy.

The Statement outlines a competitive procurement process to maximise local content while adapting requirements to reflect the early stages of the sector’s development in Australia. 

In order to maximise opportunities for local industry development and local jobs, the Victorian Government will also establish the Renewable Jobs Taskforce, which will coordinate industry engagement and participation across offshore wind projects. The taskforce will include representatives from unions, industry associations, businesses and community.

Victorian Minister for Energy, Lily D’Ambrosio said that Victoria’s offshore wind targets will be critical in leading Victoria through the renewable energy transition as it builds the significant capacity urgently needed to replace closing coal-fired power stations.

“We’re taking industry and community with us every step of the way through rigorous consultation, ensuring we achieve the best outcomes for our state, as global businesses compete for a slice of Victoria’s world class wind energy resources,” Ms D’Ambrosio said. 

Victorian Acting Minister for Jobs and Industry, Colin Brooks, said that Victoria is positioned to be Australia’s offshore wind powerhouse and it is focused on ensuring local industry and workers will benefit.

Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne, said, “Local ports will play a critical role in supporting the offshore wind sector, with several ports across Victoria offering ideal locations to set up operational bases for offshore wind projects.”

Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal CEO, Daniel Miller, said, “Recognising the impact on our First Peoples, the Statement outlines the Victorian Government’s continued commitment to meaningful steps toward self-determination and supporting the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation’s aspirations for mutually beneficial agreements with offshore wind developers.”

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