The region’s peak business organisation, Business Illawarra has today welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that it is declaring the Pacific Ocean area off the Illawarra one of six proposed regions for the development of offshore wind energy.
With legislation now in the federal parliament to deliver a 43 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030, this decision will help unleash the nation's renewable energy capabilities by harnessing the power of offshore wind.
Offshore wind is seen as a way of helping with energy security and resilience in a renewable energy world due to its power capacity and availability at times when solar power and onshore wind are not available.
Business Illawarra Executive Director, Adam Zarth said that this is positive news for the region and comes on the back of several years of early development work and campaigning by many local stakeholders to attract potential proponents to the region, and to secure the necessary support of government to make such a project possible.
“We have been working closely with the key local proponents of offshore wind, Oceanex Energy and BlueFloat Energy, who are committed to the region and serious about developing offshore energy solutions that will be beneficial to us all,” Mr Zarth said.
“This announcement provides the much-needed certainty for these proponents to invest further and for the community to prepare and plan for these major projects.”
“The Illawarra is ideally placed to have offshore wind farms, with Port Kembla and the necessary infrastructure required to support an offshore wind farm and more broadly a national renewable energy industry.”
“Having our own local steel works at Port Kembla means that BlueScope will invest further in expanding its current manufacture and supply of the steel required for wind turbine components on the back of this announcement which is another boost for the region.”
“Unlocking wind energy for the Illawarra also significantly improves Port Kembla’s prospects of developing a green hydrogen industry and distribution hub for the southwest of NSW and for export to international markets, especially in Asia.”
Collectively, these projects will play an important role in the Illawarra becoming a Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) under the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap,” said Mr Zarth.