Almost $40 million of round one funding from Victoria’s Energy Innovation Fund will fund the initial development of three offshore wind projects, in support of the post-2025 energy transition.
The funding will support feasibility studies and pre-construction activities and will help demonstrate pathways to commercial operation for offshore wind projects in the state.
Star of the South was awarded the largest share of the overall grant, receiving $19.5 million for pre-construction development activities for its 2200-megawatt project off the coast of Gippsland.
If constructed, the project could result in an investment of about $8.7 billion and the creation of more than 2,000 jobs.
Macquarie Group was awarded $16.1 million for prefeasibility work to investigate the potential for a 1,000-megawatt offshore wind farm off the Bass Coast and Flotation Energy received $2.3 million to conduct scoping studies and surveys for a potential 1,500-megawatt off Gippsland.
Together these projects could generate the equivalent of more than 40 per cent of Victoria’s electricity consumption and deliver more than 5,500 jobs and more than $18 billion in investment.
Funding these projects should provide extensive experience as well as knowledge-sharing opportunities, acting as a catalyst for an innovative energy sector in Victoria post-2025.
Environment Victoria chief executive officer Jono La Nauze said the non-governmental organisation welcomed the grants, which built on Victoria’s growing reputation as the clean energy capital of Australia.
He added it would help to ‘walk the talk’ of providing a just transition for coal workers and their families by providing much needed clean energy employment opportunities for affected communities in Gippsland and beyond.
La Nauze continued: “This is a win-win for Victoria – providing the extra power needed to overcome our state’s reliance on dirty, polluting and ageing coal-fired power stations, while creating a steady stream of highly skilled jobs in the renewable energy sector.
“Victoria is n a period of transition and needs clean energy investment like this that will create clean energy jobs and provide a safer future for our communities without further damaging our climate.”