Hunter Offshore Wind Zone



The Albanese Government is paving the way for energy and job security in a region that has helped to power Australia for generations, with next steps announced for the Hunter offshore wind zone.

This industry represents a huge opportunity for regional Australia, providing reliable renewables to power homes and heavy industry while creating highly skilled and well-paid jobs.

Offshore wind in the Hunter could support future onshore manufacturing, as it builds on the local industrial expertise and infrastructure.

Equinor and Oceanex have been preliminary offered a feasibility licence for the potential Novocastrian Wind Pty Ltd project. Only one feasibility licence is being proposed because other applications were for overlapping areas and found to be of lower merit.

Should the project go ahead, it would employ around 3,000 workers during construction and create around 200-300 permanent local jobs. It would inject development expenditure worth hundreds of millions of dollars into the Hunter region and leverage existing heavy industry.  

It could generate over 2 GW of electricity, equivalent to powering 1.2 million homes or two Tomago smelters.

The preliminary feasibility licence comes off the back of the offshore wind zone being declared in the Pacific Ocean off the Hunter last July. 

This is the second officially declared Australian offshore wind zone – and being in a heartland of heavy industry, will support future onshore manufacturing and energy security in NSW for decades to come.

The strong, consistent winds off the coast, along with the region’s skilled energy and manufacturing workforce, make the Hunter an ideal location for an offshore wind industry.

The final area was declared after two months of public consultation with a smaller footprint than the originally proposed zone – balancing the views of the local community, local industry and sea users.

The declared area, stretches over 1,800 km2 between Swansea and Port Stephens and could generate up to 5GW of wind energy, enough to power an estimated 4.2 million homes and power local industries into the future.

The revised zone will be 20 km from the coast in the north and over 35 km from the coast in the south.

These changes enable continued safe management of shipping and other sea industries. Offshore infrastructure will also be limited to a height of 260 metres to address aviation safety.

More information

The instrument giving effect to the declaration, the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (Declared Area OEI-01-2023) Declaration 2023, is available on the Federal Register of Legislation.

The declaration followed consultation with local communities, state and local government representatives, First Nations people, existing industries including shipping, defence, fishing, and other marine users.

This declaration will help enable Australia's energy transition towards renewable power and cleaner, cheaper, and more secure energy. It will Australia reach net zero by 2050.

By declaring the area, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen is identifying where more environmental studies and animal surveys needed to inform future development options.

The announcement is part of the government's Rewiring the Nation plan. The plan is designed to ramp up renewable generation, place downward pressure on energy bills, and put Australia on track to becoming a renewable energy superpower.

shapefile representing the Declared Area (ZIP 9 KB) is available for download. This shapefile is provided for illustrative and explanatory purposes only and must be used with the GDA94 geocentric data set. The Declared Area is the area made up of the areas specified in Schedule 1 of the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (Declared Area OEI-01-2023) Declaration 2023.

Feasibility Licence applications will open for proposed projects within the declared area from 8 August 2023 to 14 November 2023.