Targets blowing in the wind

The Victorian government has committed to delivering two gigawatts of offshore wind by 2032 . file photograph

Michelle Slater

The Victorian government is committing to delivering at least two gigawatts of offshore wind by 2032, with another four gigawatts by 2035 and nine GW by 2040.

The first power from offshore wind is expected in 2028 following a competitive process.

The announcement was made this afternoon as part of a Victorian Offshore Wind Policy Directions Paper.

The announcement is a shot-in-the-arm for large scale Gippsland offshore wind projects including Star of the South and the Floatation Energy 1.5GW Seadragon project off the coast of Sale.

It comes after the state government had already pledged $40 million for feasibility studies and pre-construction development for three major offshore wind proposals, including the two in Gippsland.

Flotation Energy Australian managing director Tim Sawyer welcomed the government’s commitment to accelerate offshore wind.

Mr Sawyer said Seadragon would create hundreds of local jobs, stimulate new supply chains and secure Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley as Victoria’s energy production hub.

“This is an important step that will unlock billions of dollars in new investment, create highly skilled jobs and open significant opportunities for the local supply chain,” Mr Sawyer said.

“Offshore wind is a key enabler in the energy transition as it delivers large scale, consistent and reliable renewable energy that complements onshore wind and solar.”

Victoria has the potential to support 13 GW of capacity from coastal regions by 2050, which would create 6100 ongoing and construction jobs.

Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio said Victoria’s offshore wind resources were “officially open for business”.

“But the real work starts now,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“We know it will take years to plan and develop the first tranche of wind projects in Australia, due to their complexity, scale, regulatory and infrastructure requirements.

“And we’re ready to start that journey today.”

Friends of the Earth Gippsland campaigner Wendy Farmer said it was a “win” for Gippsland, the climate and union movement which has been campaigning to kickstart a jobs-rich offshore wind sector.

Ms Farmer called for the federal government to step-up and match Victoria’s offshore wind ambitions.

“With the Yallourn coal fired power station set to close by 2028 at the latest, communities like the Latrobe Valley need all governments to show leadership on renewable energy,” Ms Farmer said.

“It’s time for Energy Minister Angus Taylor to get on with a Gippsland Offshore Wind Zone so these critical projects can get started.”