The federal government has announced that consultation is now open for a proposed offshore wind zone in the Illawarra (see map below).
The proposed offshore wind zone extends from Wombarra to Kiama and is 1461 square kilometres. It is located 10km from the coast (up to 30km at Kiama), a similar distance with the recently proposed Southern Ocean offshore wind zone (consultation for which closes on 31 August 2023).
In announcing the consultation, The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy, stated that ‘The Illawarra was identified for its strong offshore wind resource, major port infrastructure and role as an industrial and manufacturing hub looking to transform to greater renewable generation and thrive in a changing global economy.’
The proposed offshore wind zone has the potential to generate up to 4.2GW from offshore wind. It is expected to support 2,500 construction jobs and a further 1,250 ongoing jobs.
In a related release, the Department of Climate Change and Energy noted that the proposed offshore wind zone, if declared, would work with existing marine users (including fishers) and interests to ensure that the area is shared. The department also noted that there are no native title claims in the proposed offshore wind zone.
Consultation closes on 16 October 2023.
Source: Offshore renewable energy infrastructure area proposal: Pacific Ocean off Illawarra region, NSW (Australian Government, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water)
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