Australia’s first offshore wind farm proposal revealed

An Australian energy company on Friday revealed a proposal for the country’s first ever offshore windfarm.

The proposal, put together by Offshore Energy, would see 250 wind turbines built off the coast of Gippsland at a cost of nearly six billion U.S. dollars.

If approved, the turbines would be built between 10 and 25 km off the coast on a 574 square kilometer area of Australian waters.

The Victorian Government said that the project would create 12,000 jobs during construction and a further 300 permanent ongoing operational and maintenance jobs.

Analysis of the capacity for energy generation in the area by Offshore Energy found that the turbines would generate 18 percent of Victoria’s energy needs, or enough to power 1.2 million homes.

The proposal has been passed on to the federal Department of the Environment and Energy which will review the application before deciding whether to approve it or not.

Andy Evans, managing director of Offshore Energy, said the project planned to make use of “offshore wind’s natural high capacity factor.”

He said that wind-power provided a “new and exciting option for Australia’s energy capacity and security” even before the cost of wind power continued to fall.

Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s Energy Minister, welcomed the proposal as “a really exciting announcement that has the potential to bring jobs and new industry to Gippsland.”

“A new renewable power generator of this size would drive down electricity prices, and we’ll support Offshore Energy wherever we can to progress this study,” D’Ambrosio said in a media release on Friday.

“Offshore wind would add to Victoria’s system capacity and security as Australia transitions to a more diverse energy mix.”