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    Australia issues licenses for offshore wind projects

    The Australian government has authorized six feasibility licenses for the development of offshore wind projects near Gippsland, Victoria. An additional six licenses are under evaluation, pending consultation with First Nations communities. These licenses were granted after a competitive assessment process based on criteria outlined in the Australian Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act and associated regulations.


    One license has been granted for Orsted’s initial project, with plans to grant another pending First Nations consultation. These licenses give Orsted exclusive rights to develop two offshore wind areas, with an estimated combined capacity of 4.8GW of renewable energy.


    Orsted’s project sites are situated 50km-100km off the coast of Gippsland, Victoria, beyond visible range from the shore and benefiting from favorable wind conditions.


    The next steps for these projects involve site investigations, environmental assessments, and supply chain development. Orsted intends to participate in future auctions run by the Victorian government, aligning with the state’s goal of achieving 9GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040. Pending final investment decisions and project progression, completion is anticipated in phases starting from the early 2030s, aiming to optimize synergies between sites and achieve economies of scale.


    Other companies, such as Mainstream Renewable Power, Reventus Power, AGL Energy, DIRECT Infrastructure JV Gippsland Skies Offshore Wind, and Southerly Ten, have also secured feasibility licenses for offshore wind projects in the Gippsland region of Victoria. These projects will undergo detailed studies, environmental surveys, and consultation processes, with the aim of contributing to Victoria’s offshore wind targets.


    Southerly Ten, specifically, has secured a license for its 2.2GW Star of the South project and is also pursuing a license for its Kut-Wut Brataualung project, subject to First Nations consultation. Additionally, Iberdrola’s Aurora Green site off the coast of Gippsland, Victoria, has received preliminary approval, pending First Nations consultation.


    Iberdrola stated that the analysis of the Aurora Green offshore wind site has been ongoing for nearly three years. It has the potential to accommodate up to 3GW of offshore capacity, with all turbines positioned more than 25km away from the Gippsland coastline.


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