Australia opens talks on New South Wales offshore zone

The Australian government has lined up its next offshore wind zone by opening consultations for leasing projects off the coast of New South Wales in the country’s south-east.

The proposed New South Wales offshore wind zone centres on Newcastle (above) (pic credit: Charlie Rogers/Getty Images)

The consultations to declare the zone off Hunter Spur (below) as a federal-designated area for offshore wind development will last until 28 April.

This move would pave the way for developers to apply for feasibility licences to investigate the area, which would enable them to move towards a final plan for their projects. They would still need to secure a commercial licence to proceed to construction.

Wind energy developers are already eyeing offshore projects in the region. 

Among them are Norwegian energy giant Equinor, which is teaming with Australia- and New Zealand-focused developers Oceanex, and offshore wind developer BlueFloat Energy, which has also proposed projects in the region alongside Australian developer Energy Estate. 

New South Wales is home to more manufacturing than any other state in Australia, including the country’s largest smelter. 

The government hopes the development of offshore wind here would promote the country’s energy transition and generate between 3,000-8,000 new jobs. 

Windpower Monthly has contacted Equinor and BlueFloat for comment.