Australia established its first offshore wind farm zone off the southern coast of the country, where several long-awaited large-scale wind power plants will be constructed, as reported by Reuters on December 19. A USD6bn project, known as Star of the South, will be established at the Gippsland coast off the state of Victoria. If everything goes smoothly, the 2.2-gigawatt (GW) project could start construction in 2025 and begin producing power around 2030, with a capability of meeting about 20% of Victoria’s power demand when completed. Other projects in the offshore wind farm zone include a 1.5 GW wind farm named Seadragon, which will be developed by Flotation Energy and Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power [9501:JP] to meet the energy needs of up to 1m homes.
As the world’s second-largest coal exporter behind Indonesia, Australia is moving toward a renewable energy future under a pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. According to Energy Minister Chris Bowen, the first offshore wind farm zone represents a crucial step towards affordable, reliable, and secure energy and new economic opportunities for Australia. More large-scale renewable projects like Star of the South are anticipated in the coming years to help integrate Australia’s manufacturing with renewable energy infrastructure, citing Industry Minister Ed Husic. To match the massive renewable power generation capacity, Victoria in September announced a USD102m battery storage scheme of building a 125-megawatt (MW) big battery, as part of the state’s plan to ramp up its renewable energy storage capacity to 2.6 GW by 2030 and 6.3 GW by 2035.