- Published: 19 December 2022 19 December 2022
Bass Strait off the Gippsland coast was declared an offshore renewable energy zone by the Australian Climate Change and Energy Minister. The declared area in Gippsland, Victoria, covers about 15,000 square kilometres offshore, and runs from Lakes Entrance in the east to south of Wilsons Promontory in the west.
This area was developed after a significant consultation process beginning in August of this year, taking into account views expressed by community stakeholders, industry and experts.
The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments are committed to working together over the coming year to consider the Gippsland coast west of Wilsons Prom, including further consultation with Traditional Owners and taking into account community feedback and information on environmental risks of developing offshore electricity infrastructure in the area. Victoria is aiming to hit 2 GW of offshore generation by 2032, 4 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035 and 9 GW by 2040.
Feasibility licence applications for offshore wind projects in the Gippsland area will open soon. The Offshore Infrastructure Registrar will lead assessment of all applications against criteria set out in the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Regulations 2022, and make recommendations to the Minister.
Other regions being considered for future offshore wind energy projects are the Pacific Ocean regions off the Hunter and Illawarra in NSW, the Southern Ocean region off Portland in Victoria, the Bass Straight region off Northern Tasmania, and the Indian Ocean region off Perth/Bunbury in WA.
The government has also awarded Major Project Status to the Star of the South Offshore Windfarm Project off the Gippsland coast. It’ll mean a greater focus on the coordination of state and federal approvals needed for the project to progress. This makes the project one of around 25 projects across the country to be formally recognised with Major Project Status.