Victoria awards funding for 4.7 GW of offshore wind developments

Offshore wind. Source: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

November 23 (Renewables Now) - The government of Victoria on Monday pledged to award AUD 40 million (USD 29m/EUR 25.7m) to fund studies related to three projects envisaging the construction of 4.7 GW of offshore wind farms in state waters.

The three projects were put forward by Australia’s Star of the South, Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) and UK-based developer Flotation Energy. According to the government's estimates, they are expected to bring over USD 18 billion in new investments to the state.

The funding, to be disbursed by Victoria’s Energy Innovation Fund, will support feasibility studies and pre-construction development activities, including environmental review. The Star of the South, an up to 2.2-GW proposal set to create Australia’s first offshore wind complex off the Gippsland coast, will bag the largest amount, totalling AUD 19.5 million.

Some AUD 16.1 million will go for Macquarie’s plan to add 1 GW of offshore turbine capacity off the Bass Coast. The money will help the company facilitate the project’s initial development. Floatation Energy, meanwhile, will get AUD 2.3 million to carry out scoping studies and surveys related to a 1.5-GW wind farm off Gippsland.

The three wind farms’ combined output will be enough to cover the consumption of roughly 3.6 million homes.

Victoria’s funding comes a few months after Australia introduced legislation to enable an offshore electricity industry, which is expected to accelerate projects that are already under development. “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,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.726/EUR 0.644)

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