A consortium of Australian and global companies, comprising Mainstream Renewable Power, Reventus Power, AGL, and DIRECT Infrastructure has submitted a feasibility licence application for a 2.5 GW offshore wind development off the coast of Victoria, Australia. The consortium brings significant global offshore wind development track records, coupled with deep Australian industry and energy generation knowledge to deliver on the nation’s offshore wind ambitions.
The area in the Bass Strait off Gippsland, Victoria, was the first offshore wind zone to be declared by the Australian Government. According to the Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, the 15 000 km2 zone has the potential to support more than 10 GW of year-round energy generation and the creation of thousands of new jobs.
The consortium partners share a deep commitment to Australia’s energy transition and as pioneers in the global offshore wind industry they bring a solid track record in developing and growing local supply chains for the long term. The consortium is determined to play a leading role in developing the nascent Australian offshore wind industry, establishing opportunities for local industry and job creation. The proposed 2.5 GW project has the potential to generate substantial economic benefits to Australia, including more than AUS$3.7 billion economic value added and the creation of over 8600 full-time equivalent jobs according to the consortium’s initial socioeconomic impact study. In addition, the development phase will include an investment package of AUS$400 million to support workforce and supply chain development, enable the transition of Australian industry, and create local benefits.
Tove Røskaft, Head of Offshore Wind at Mainstream, said: “Mainstream has a strong history in offshore wind as one of the earliest developers globally. Our 20-year plus legacy goes back to developing the very first offshore wind farms in Ireland and the UK, including the Hornsea zone which is the world’s largest offshore wind farm in operation today. Mainstream was part of the partnership behind the UK’s biggest offshore wind supply chain success story and by leveraging the global experience of our parent company, the Aker group, we seek to bring similar benefits to the local supply chain in Australia.”
Mark Hanafin, Executive Chairman at Reventus Power, added: “Reventus Power was formed in 2021 to explore offshore wind investment opportunities on behalf of our parent company, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, a long-term and significant investor in Australia (with AUS$16 billion of net assets in Australia as of 31 December 2022) and an active investor in offshore wind globally. We believe there is strong potential for significant offshore wind development in Victoria and beyond, and a good framework in place for this new industry to deliver energy, jobs, and environmental benefits. We look forward to working in partnership with governments and other stakeholders to ensure that our proposals are realised in the national interest.”
Gary Brown, Chief Financial Officer at AGL, commented: “AGL’s strategy to bring forward our targeted exit from coal to 2035 is coupled with an ambition to supply our customers with 12 GW of additional renewable and firming capacity. Wind energy will be an important part of our plan to responsibly transition our generation portfolio to meet our customer demand and keep Australia’s electricity sup-ply secure, reliable, and affordable. As a major employer in the Gippsland region, we are committed to working with our people and the community to ensure the decarbonisation of our energy system continues to provide opportunities.”
Peter J. Coleman, Chair of DIRECT Infrastructure, concluded: “We are pleased to be part of one of the strongest partnerships in Australia’s emerging offshore wind industry. The energy transition in Australia is going to require large scale offshore wind generation, and we look forward to supporting the Commonwealth and Victorian governments with their offshore wind energy ambitions. I was raised and started my career in the Gippsland area, and I am excited by the opportunities our proposed offshore wind project will create, including the large number of local jobs, opportunities for suppliers and investment in associated infrastructure such as ports and energy storage.”