Australia Invites Applications for Hunter Offshore Wind Zone

Australia’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) has opened the application period for feasibility licences for the recently declared offshore wind zone in the Pacific Ocean off the Hunter, New South Wales.

Developers have until 14 November to submit applications for the permits that will require them to hold further consultation on individual proposals, including detailed environmental assessments and impacts on other marine users, before any environmental and management plan approvals are obtained.

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Construction can only begin after the feasibility stage is completed and all subsequent approvals are in place.

The offshore wind zone is the second to be declared for offshore wind development, with the zone off Victoria’s Gippsland region being the first to reach this status.

Stretching over 1,800 square kilometres between Swansea and Port Stephens, the Hunter zone is said to have the potential to accommodate up to 5 GW of offshore wind capacity.

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The area has already attracted interest from developers before the offshore wind zone was identified and officially declared.

Energy Estate has proposed a floating offshore wind farm of up to 1.65 GW, on whose early development the company worked with BlueFloat Energy, which later unveiled a 1.7 GW floating wind project of its own in the waters off the Hunter.

In 2022, Equinor and OceanEx announced that they intended to jointly submit feasibility licence applications for offshore wind acreage for three of these projects in Australia, including for a 2 GW wind farm offshore Hunter Valley.

Earlier this year, EDF Renewables said that it had acquired the Newcastle Offshore Wind (NOW) floating wind project that was under development by Newcastle Offshore Wind Energy Pty Ltd (NOWE) and was planned to be developed in stages to ultimately reach 10 GW in generation capacity.


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