5 GW Offshore Wind Zone Declared off Hunter Coast

The Australian Government has officially declared its second offshore wind zone in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the New South Wales (NSW) Hunter region which has the potential to accommodate up to 5 GW of offshore wind capacity.

Hunter region Australia
Ministry of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water

The declared area stretches over 1,800 square kilometres between Swansea and Port Stephens and could generate up to 5 GW of offshore wind energy, enough to power an estimated 4.2 million homes.

The revised zone will be 20 kilometres from the coast in the north and over 35 kilometres from the coast in the south.

The offshore infrastructure will also be limited to a height of 260 metres to address aviation safety, the country’s Ministry of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, said.

The final area was declared after two months of public consultation with a smaller footprint than the originally proposed zone, balancing the views of the local community, local industry, and sea users.

“The Albanese Labor Government has listened to community feedback and revised the offshore wind zone accordingly to ensure it coexists alongside whale migration, bird and sea life, and our shipping industry. This is an important part of a suite of measures which will position Newcastle and the Hunter as a clean energy hub, including an $100 million investment to ensure hydrogen readiness at the Port of Newcastle. Newcastle has a bright future”, said Sharon Claydon MP, Federal Member for Newcastle.

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The ministry said that the area’s strong, consistent winds off the coast, along with the region’s skilled energy and manufacturing workforce, make the Hunter an ideal location for an offshore wind industry.

The Hunter is undergoing significant economic change, and the prospect of creating new job opportunities for decades to come through a new offshore wind industry is a game changer. Today’s declaration opens the door for a new industry in the Hunter, which could create over 3,000 construction jobs and another 1,560 ongoing jobs”, said Australia’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen.

Feasibility licence applications for offshore wind projects in the Hunter region will open from 8 August until 14 November 2023.

During the feasibility licence stage, developers will be required to undertake further consultation on individual proposals, including detailed environmental assessments and impacts on other marine users, the ministry said.

Construction can only begin after feasibility stage is completed, and environmental and management plan approvals are gained, according to the press release.

Among the developers that have already announced their bids for a place in the new Hunter region are Energy Estate, which proposed up to 1.65 GW Hunter Coast floating offshore wind farm, the 2 GW project being developed by Equinor and OceanEx, and the biggest floating offshore wind project proposed by EDF Renewables.


The first offshore wind zone to be declared was off Victoria’s Gippsland region, with four other areas expected to follow.

Recently the Australian federal government launched the consultation for the Southern Ocean zone which has the potential to accommodate up to 14 GW of offshore wind capacity.


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