Australia Advances Offshore Wind Plans in Gippsland

Australia’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy has made preliminary decisions on the granting of feasibility licences for offshore wind projects in Commonwealth waters off the Gippsland region in Victoria. The government received 37 feasibility licence applications for the 15,000 square kilometre zone.

Back in December 2022, Christopher Bowen, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, declared the Bass Strait off Gippsland area as suitable for offshore renewable energy infrastructure.

The declared area runs from Lakes Entrance in the east to the south of Wilsons Promontory in the west.

Applications for feasibility licences within the Gippsland area opened on 23 January and closed on 27 April.

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All feasibility licence applications were assessed by the Offshore Infrastructure Registrar against the suitability and merit requirements set out in the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021 (OEI Act) and associated regulations.

These requirements include technical and financial capability, likely project viability, applicant suitability and the national interest.

Out of 37 feasibility licence applications, only six are under preliminary consideration for the granting of feasibility licences and have begun the next stage of consultation with First Nation groups, according to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).

Six applications are under preliminary consideration to progress through the overlapping application process while for the remaining 25, a preliminary decision has been made to not proceed to grant a feasibility licence on the basis that they are not as meritorious as overlapping applications, according to DCCEEW.

If all six proposed projects under preliminary consideration for a licence were to proceed through proving feasibility to commercialisation, they could generate 12 GW of electricity and create over 25,000 construction jobs and 1,500 ongoing jobs.

These numbers would increase if the other six applications were able to resolve their overlap and proceed to commercialisation.


Before making a final decision on whether to grant a licence to these applicants, the Minister is consulting First Nations groups to consider native title rights and interests in the proposed licence area. Submissions received through this consultation process will be taken into account when making a final decision on licensing, DCCEEW said.

In early 2024, the applicants moving through the overlapping process will be invited by the Registrar to revise and resubmit their applications to remove the overlap as they will be provided with sufficient detail on the overlapping application and nearby applications to assist with this process, according to DCCEEW.

If following this process any overlaps remain, they may be invited to submit financial offers, according to the press release.

The State of Victoria aims to reach 2 GW of offshore generation by 2032, 4 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035, and 9 GW by 2040.


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