Equinor, Nexsphere Ink MoU with Tasmania to Progress Offshore Wind Project
The Tasmanian Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the owners of the Bass Offshore Wind Energy Project (BOWE) to work together to supply northern Tasmania with green offshore wind energy.
In December 2022, Equinor and Australian renewables developer Nexsphere joined forces to progress BOWE project in the Bass Strait, Tasmania.
BOWE is a multi-billion-dollar, bottom-fixed foundation offshore wind farm development located about 30 kilometres off Tasmania’s northeast coast.
Nexsphere’s planned Bass Offshore Wind Energy project, which involves 35 to 70 turbines, would generate up to 1000 MW – enough energy to power 325,000 homes.
The project can potentially 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 Marke, said BOWE.
Following the signing of the MoU between the Tasmanian Government and BOWE, the project will progress through the feasibility licencing process once the area is declared, as set out in the Commonwealth’s Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act.
This process has already commenced in Gippsland, Victoria, and will in the Hunter region in NSW soon.
The parties also agree 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.
“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,” said Glen Kierse, CEO of Nexsphere.
In addition to the supply of offshore wind energy, the agreement will also see parties working together to assist in northern Tasmania being declared an Offshore Renewable Energy Zone by the Commonwealth Government.
The Gippsland area is Australia’s first offshore wind area, following the country’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy declaring the Bass Strait as suitable for offshore renewable energy infrastructure.
In January of this year, the country’s Ministry for Climate Change and Energy opened the invitation period for feasibility licence applications for the Gippsland area.
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