Applications for feasibility licences for the Hunter Offshore Wind Zone have now closed.
From here, applications will be assessed by the Offshore Infrastructure Registrar before recommendations are made to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, The Hon Chris Bowen MP.
Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon MP, said there was a comprehensive and robust process ahead before construction could begin.
“In order to receive a feasibility licence, projects the Offshore Infrastructure Registrar will consider factors including which proposals support Australian manufacturing and local content opportunities and job creation.
"Once a feasibility licence has been granted, licence holders must undertake detailed environmental assessments and undertake further stakeholder consultation. This will include further opportunities for feedback from the community.”
“Construction can only begin once an additional commercial licence is granted, environmental approvals are given under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act, and management plans, detailing how projects will fit in with the local area and sea users, are approved by the regulator.”
“Offshore wind energy represents an exciting opportunity for Newcastle. The strong, consistent winds off our coast, our deepwater port, and our highly skilled energy and manufacturing workforce, make our region an ideal location for job creation opportunities.
“Developing a new offshore wind sector in Australia will not only help deliver more renewable energy and help the environment, it will also drive regional investment and create jobs.
“For Newcastle, this means new jobs in the local manufacturing, construction, maritime, transport and logistics industries. And it means continued growth of our vocational education and training pathways - our TAFE and our university.”
The declared area stretches over 1,800 km2 between Norah Head 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. Offshore wind projects in the area have the potential to create up to 3,120 construction jobs and another 1,560 ongoing operational jobs.
For more information on the licencing process, visit: https://www.dcceew.gov.au/energy/renewable/offshore-wind