Plans for an offshore wind development project at Port Kembla have been unveiled as part of a proposed renewable energy hub in the NSW Illawarra.
NSW Ports announced concept plans to develop a large-scale port facility at Port Kembla’s Outer Harbour, that would support offshore wind projects.
ort Kembla is within the NSW government’s draft Illawarra Renewable Energy Zone, which has attracted more than $43 billion in potential investment across 44 proposed projects, including eight offshore wind generation farms.
The new facility would act as a hub for the significant infrastructure and upkeep demands of offshore wind.
Port Kembla already handles the import and transportation of onshore wind components to support the development of wind farms across NSW.
Energy Minister Matt Kean said generating energy close to where it is used keeps costs down by reducing the need for transmission infrastructure.
“We know there’s a big load down there with the steel works so it makes sense to be locating that infrastructure very close to the energy users,” he said.
NSW Ports holds long-term leases on Port Kembla and Port Botany.
Chief executive Marika Calfas said Port Kembla’s location was ideal for delivering offshore wind projects to provide for NSW’s growing renewable energy needs.
“Port Kembla is close to Greater Sydney’s growing population and surrounded by industrial lands,” she said on Wednesday.
“It is within the NSW government’s proposed Illawarra Renewable Energy Zone and adjacent to the federal government’s proposed Illawarra offshore wind development zone,” she said.
“The proposed Outer Harbour offshore wind port facility provides an opportunity for significant job creation, domestic innovation and carbon emissions reduction.”
Taking advantage of the opportunity required government, private enterprise, industry and the community to work together, Ms Calfas said.
“We need to act now to support the rapidly emerging offshore wind development opportunities,” she said.
“Today’s announcement provides clarity on Port Kembla’s potential to support offshore wind projects and NSW Ports’ willingness to develop infrastructure to progress renewable generation initiatives.”
Australian Associated Press