Offshore wind developer BlueFloat Energy and Australian developer Energy Estate have announced they are working together on three offshore wind projects in Australia with a total planned capacity of 4.3GW.
The two companies are assessing a number of additional sites in each of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. They plan to announce further projects in early 2022.
The 1400MW Hunter Coast Hunter Coast (1400MW) Offshoreoff Hunter, New South Wales, Australia, Asia-Pacific Click to see full details floating offshore wind project is planned for a site off the coast south of Newcastle in New South Wales – an area earmarked for offshore wind development by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in its draft 2022 Integrated System Plan.
The project is expected to support the Hunter region’s transition from coal-fired power. Its developers plan to use its output to supply existing large energy users such as Tomago’s aluminium smelter, and to produce green hydrogen.
BlueFloat and Energy Estate also plan to use floating platforms for its 1600MW Wollongong Wollongong (1600MW) Offshoreoff Wollangong and Culburra Beach, New South Wales, Australia, Asia-Pacific Click to see full details project, which they hope to develop across two sites off the coast from Wollongong in the Illawarra region of New South Wales. The developers plan to use its output to support existing industry in the region and to facilitate the growth of new industries, including green hydrogen for export and domestic markets such as mobility.
Wollongong-based firm PPM is working with Energy Estate to revitalise existing infrastructure from the resources industry and combine offshore wind with new industrial areas, green hydrogen production and long-duration energy storage.
Meanwhile, BlueFloat and Energy Estate plan to use fixed-bottom foundations at the 1300MW Greater Gippsland Greater Gippsland (1300MW) Offshoreoff Woodside Beach, Victoria, Australia, Asia-Pacific Click to see full details project in the Bass Strait, off the coast of the Gippsland region of Victoria. It builds on the momentum for an accelerated retirement of brown coal projects in the Latrobe Valley, and is intended to complement the existing and planned transmission infrastructure in Gippsland.
“Offshore wind energy is booming globally and now it is Australia’s time,” said Carlos Martin, chief executive of BlueFloat Energy. “We are excited by the prospect of introducing the two types of offshore wind technology (floating and fixed) into Australia, as this will enable us to harness some of the best offshore wind resources globally.”
“The combination of world-class wind resources, the transition from fossil fuels, and suitable maritime conditions is an ideal platform for large-scale energy infrastructure projects being built close to load sources,” he added.
Nick Sankey, country manager for BlueFloat Energy, said: “The timing of our announcement comes hot on the heels of Australia’s federal government passing legislation that provides a framework for developing offshore wind projects here. This is a pivotal step as the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 establishes a regulatory scaffold to enable the construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of offshore electricity infrastructure.”
After years in the offshore wind doldrums, Australia is now seen as a booming market which is capable of attracting developers.
BlueFloat Energy is developing offshore wind projects in several geographies. It is collaborating with aerospace engineering company Sener on the 300MW Mar de Ágata Mar de Ágata (300MW) Offshoreoff Levante Almeriense, Andalusia, Spain, Europe Click to see full details floating offshore wind farm off southern Spain, and with Falck Renewables on the 675MW Minervia Energia Minervia Energia (675MW) OffshoreGulf of Squillace, off Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy, Europe Click to see full details project off Calabria in Italy.