BlueFloat Energy has today announced the findings of a socio-economic analysis of the Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project. The study, conducted by ACIL Allen, reveals that the proposed 2.1 GW project, located off the coast of Gippsland, could see a $35 billion increase in the Gross Regional Product for Gippsland.
The Gippsland region, which was designated as Australia’s first offshore wind zone, is currently open to applications for Feasibility Licences. Projects awarded a Feasibility Licence can begin field work and studies as part of the environmental approvals and technical feasibility process.
The socio-economic study, which was conducted as part of BlueFloat Energy’s Feasibility Licence application, shows that the Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project is forecast to generate thousands of ongoing direct and indirect jobs and deliver an $18.3 billion rise in combined household incomes in Gippsland.
Victoria has set targets of at least 2 GW of offshore generation capacity by 2032, 4 GW by 2035 and 9 GW by 2040. The Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project is projected to generate 7,800 GWh of renewable energy each year and will put downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.
BlueFloat Energy’s Feasibility Licence application is well supported, with a number of letters of support from key local stakeholders. It follows community drop-in sessions in Sale, Seaspray and Woodside Beach in March and other community sessions last year.
The Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project will be located between 10 to 43 kilometres offshore from the Gippsland coast, between Woodside Beach and Seaspray. It includes approximately 140 wind turbines and 4 substations, which will produce 2.1 GW of electricity and will be connected to the National Energy Market in the Latrobe Valley via a shared transmission line.
Nick Sankey, BlueFloat Energy’s Australian Country Manager, commented: “As part of our Feasibility Licence application, we wanted to understand how the Greater Gippsland Offshore Wind Project would impact the regional economy. The numbers that came back are astounding. It is so important that offshore wind delivers benefits for local communities and the analysis by ACIL Allen shows just how many jobs, incomes, and livelihoods can be positively affected.”
Kate Lancaster, Stakeholder and Engagement Manager, commented: “The community is very excited about the employment opportunities in the offshore wind industry. Our project alone will create thousands of jobs during construction and hundreds of ongoing jobs once operational in 2030. There will also be flow on effects and indirect jobs for local businesses and industry. We’ll be working to harness the skills we already have in the region and to inspire the next generation to be part of the new energy sector in Gippsland.”
Leigh Kennedy, Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor Global and Engagement for Federation University, said: “BlueFloat Energy will require skilled professionals to execute projects and Federation University is currently developing training programmes to meet the needs of the emerging offshore wind industry. Federation University is pleased to be working in collaboration with BlueFloat Energy focusing on supporting the workforce development and research requirements of this emerging industry.”