Plans Unveiled for 5GW Australian Offshore Wind Farm

A newly formed joint venture of major renewable energy sector companies announced on Monday their plans for a 5GW offshore wind farm off the coast of Victoria, Australia. Known as Elanora Offshore, the project consists of 5 major renewable energy leaders; EnergyAustralia, Poland-based green energy trader Respect Energy, Polpo Investments, KIMAenergy and offshore wind contractor Boskalis.

The farm will be located in the Bass Strait of Victoria’s Gippsland region. The project will be split into two parts and is planned to be fully operational by the end of 2034. Each phase will cover construction of 2.5GW of capacity. The first phase is due to start generating power by 2032.

KIMAenergy is set to lead the development of the offshore project, while EnergyAustralia will be the power off-taker.

Maya Malik, chief executive of Eleanora Offshore, commented on the collaboration, “each consortium member is a leader in their field … it’s a very exciting model, and we have aligned it to tackle all the problems we normally see in new markets.”

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Malik also comments on the logistics of the operation, stating the project would involve massive 21-megawatt turbines, about 270 metres tall to the tips of the blades, which would be located far offshore to limit their visibility from the coast.

The impact upon local communities have always been an important factor when developing offshore wind. As we saw in the newly announced offshore wind farm being developed off the coast of New Jersey. This development was again secured by a joint venture project between leading renewable energy companies.

The Australian project is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs during the construction phase and 320 jobs during operations. The offshore complex will generate over 20 TWh of electricity, which will be enough to meet up to 40% of Victoria’s annual energy demand once construction is finished and the site is operating at full capacity.

Gippsland, the area in which the windfarm is being constructed, was declared Australia’s first offshore wind development zone in August 2022. All renewable energy sources installed in the area will support Victoria’s goals for at least 2 GW of offshore wind farms in operation by 2032, 4 GW by 2035 and 9 GW by 2040.