Australia’s renewables industry has hailed as “momentous” the news that the federal government has officially commenced the process to declare Gippsland, in Victoria, as Australia’s first zone for offshore wind project development.
Public consultation on the proposed Bass Strait off Gippsland region will begin immediately, the Albanese government said on Friday morning, to work with communities, environmental groups, industry and the maritime sector on establishing the potentially massive new industry.
The step, which industry insiders say is “huge,” follows the long-awaited September 2021 tabling of legislation to enable offshore wind projects to be built in commonwealth waters by former federal energy minister Angus Taylor, and its passage into law roughly one month later.
The Bass Strait Gippsland region, which was also singled out for priority development by the former Morrison government, has so far attracted more than 6,000MW of potential projects to the development pipeline.
These include Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, looking to build a 1,000MW Great Southern wind project, Energy Estate and BlueFloat Energy’s 1,300MW Greater Gippsland project, and another project being proposed by Alinta.
More: “Momentous:” Labor begins process to declare Australia’s first offshore wind zone