Australian Floating Offshore Wind Project Grows in Size

BlueFloat Energy and Energy Estate, the developers of the Hunter Coast floating wind farm offshore Australia, have expanded the size of the project from 1.4 GW to 1.65 GW and released the visual simulation for it.

Located between 20 and 50 kilometres off the Hunter-Central Coast region of New South Wales (NSW), the 110-turbine Hunter Coast Offshore Wind Project is within the region identified by the Australian Federal Government as one of the six areas to be assessed for suitability for offshore wind developments.

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On 30 September 2022, the New South Wales Government released the draft declaration for the Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone, which shows the potential Commonwealth offshore wind zone off the NSW coast.

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The increase in the capacity of the Hunter Coast project to 1.65 GW is a result of the detailed analysis of the investigation area previously announced by the developers and its potential for deployment of floating offshore wind technology, the developers said.

The expansion factors in the potential size of the Commonwealth offshore wind zone, the region’s robust grid capacity, and the accelerated retirement of coal-fired energy generation in NSW.

It also supports the momentum behind investment in renewable energy created by the new Federal Government as demonstrated by the rapid passage of the Climate Change Bill which enshrines into law emissions reductions of 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050, the developers said.

”Since we started the development of the Hunter Coast Offshore Wind Project in 2020 the need for new, large-scale generation capacity in the Hunter-Central Coast region has accelerated – with the retirement date for the existing coal-fired power stations moving forward by decades,” Carlos Martin, CEO of BlueFloat Energy, said.

”I was delighted to meet stakeholders in Newcastle earlier this year and understand first-hand the role that offshore wind can play in the clean energy future for the region, supporting existing energy users, replacing thermal generation and powering new industries like green hydrogen exports and clean manufacturing.”

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Photo: Hunter Coast Offshore Wind Project