Huge floating wind farms are being planned off the coast of Australia
The size of wind turbines will increase as technology improves.
Owaki/Kulla | The Image Bank | Getty Images
Three major offshore wind projects in Australia were announced. Two of these will incorporate floating wind technology.
BlueFloat Energy, a Madrid-based company, said Wednesday that it is looking for partners in developing the projects. This includes Energy Estate (which has an office in Sydney and Canberra), as well as advisory firm Energy Estate.
There are three proposed facilities: the Hunter Coast Offshore Wind Project of 1.4 gigawatt, located off Newcastle in New South Wales. Also, the Wollongong Offshore Wind Project with a capacity to generate 1.6 GW, will be built at two sites offshore Wollongong. And the Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project which has a potential output of 1.3 GW, for the Victoria region.
BlueFloat Energy claims that the Hunter Coast project and Wollongong will use floating wind technology. Greater Gippsland’s wind farm will be bottom-fixed.
BlueFloat Energy CEO Carlos Martin stated that offshore wind energy has been booming worldwide and Australia is now the time.
“We are excited by the prospect of introducing the two types of offshore wind technology … into Australia, as this will enable us to harness some of the best offshore wind resources globally.”
The Global Wind Energy Council’s report in 2020 revealed that there was 6.1GW of installed offshore wind capacity, which is an improvement on the previous 6.24GW.
The GWEC published a report earlier in the year that forecasts over 235 GW worth of offshore wind power capacity being installed within the next decade. But, overall capacity could reach 270 GW by 2030.
Australia has no offshore wind farm. The Australian parliament approved laws towards the end November that would support the growth of Australia’s offshore industry, and provide new jobs and investments in offshore windfarms.
Angus Taylor (Australia’s minister of industry, energy, and emissions reduction) stated that the legislation will “accelerate a variety of key projects currently under development.”
Star of the South is an offshore wind farm proposed to be built in waters near the Gippsland coast. According to the plan’s supporters, if Star of the South can be “developed fully”, the facility could power approximately 1.2 million Victorian homes.
A number of companies have been involved with floating offshore winds projects in the recent years.
Norway was back in 2017. EquinorHywind Scotland opened a 30-megawatt facility that it called “the first floating, full-scale offshore wind farm”
Statkraft, a Norwegian company that also owns a large amount of agricultural products, announced in September 2021 a long term purchasing agreement. floating offshore wind farm dubbed “the world’s largest” had started.
RWE Renewables, Kansai Electrical Power are also available. announced in August that they had signed an agreementThey will be looking into “feasibility” of large-scale offshore wind projects in the waters around Japan.
These offshore turbines can be floated and are not anchored to the seabed like bottom-fixed turbines. The advantage of floating turbines over bottom-fixed is their ability to be placed in deeper water than the ones that are fixed at the seabed.
RWEAccording to him, floating turbines are “deployed on top floating structures secured to the seabed using mooring lines or anchors.”