The first three offshore wind farms that BlueFloat Energy and Australia’s Energy Estate are creating together in Australia have been disclosed. The two companies recently teamed to develop offshore wind projects in New Zealand and Australia.
One bottom-fixed and two floating wind farms are proposed for the projects, which have a total installed capacity of 4.3 GW. Floating wind technology will be constructed off the coast of New South Wales, while bottom-fixed turbines will be installed off the coast of Victoria.
On December 22, the partners announced that they were evaluating a number of additional locations in Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania, and that they hoped to announce new projects early next year.
BlueFloat Energy and Energy Estate are developing the Hunter Coast Offshore Wind Project, a 1.4 GW floating wind farm south of Newcastle in the Hunter Coast region, and the Wollongong Offshore Wind Project, a 1.6 GW floating wind farm with two sites off Wollongong in the Illawarra region, in North South Wales.
According to BlueFloat and Energy Estate, a developer of renewable energy and green hydrogen projects in Australia and New Zealand, the Hunter Coast floating wind farm, located in the offshore wind renewable energy zone identified by AEMO in the draught 2022 Integrated System Plan, would supply electricity to existing large energy users such as Tomago’s aluminium smelter as well as emerging loads such as green hydrogen promoted by the Hunter Hydrogen Hub.
The large-scale Wollongong floating wind project, which spans two sites in the NSW offshore wind renewable energy zone, would support the region’s existing industrial ecosystem while also facilitating the development of new industries, such as green hydrogen for export and domestic markets like mobility.
The Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project, a bottom-fixed offshore wind farm off the coast of Victoria’s Gippsland region, is expected to have an installed capacity of 1.3 GW.
This large-scale offshore wind farm in the Bass Strait adds on the momentum for an expedited retirement of brown coal plants in the La Trobe Valley, according to the developers, and is designed to complement current and future transmission facilities in Gippsland.
“Our news comes just days after Australia’s Federal Government passed legislation establishing a framework for building offshore wind projects in the country. The Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 establishes a regulatory scaffold to enable the construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of offshore electricity infrastructure, which is a critical step, according to Nick Sankey, Country Manager for BlueFloat Energy.