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Geelong ready for offshore wind

While many of us were still enjoying our summer break, a major decision was made by the Federal Government about offshore wind in Victoria.

If you missed it, the Commonwealth rejected the State Government’s plans for a new terminal at the Port of Hastings. The Victorian Renewable Energy Terminal- a proposed hub for offshore wind farm construction- is critical to the State’s legislated targets for energy from offshore wind by 2032.

While the State Government will continue to look for ways to operate through Hastings, there is an opportunity for Geelong to play a crucial role in support– and it’s ready to go.

In July 2022, GeelongPort released plans to build a 25-hectare wind farm terminal with all the facilities required of a wind farm construction port.

With a channel depth of 12.3 metres and an existing berth pocket, the proposed design of this terminal means a lower risk of environmental issues resulting in a fast, clean approvals pathway.

The wind farm terminal has the potential to create more than 4000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and support more than 850 renewable energy jobs when operational.

Late last year I talked about reinventing our region. Embracing renewables is one way we can continue our reinvention of Geelong.

With plans to complete the wind farm terminal by 2028 – this is a reinvention that we can embrace now.

Research from Net Zero Australia estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate 41GW of power by 2040.

To achieve this, the offshore wind industry will need a capital investment of around $188 billion to deliver 3,500 turbines over the next decade.

A bustling renewables industry will generate significant investment for local businesses through improved infrastructure and supply chain opportunities.

The Geelong region is perfectly placed to support the offshore wind industry.

We are ideally located between the Gippsland Renewable Energy Zone and the Southern Ocean Renewable Energy Zone, the next logical location to be progressed.

Our expertise is backed up by a highly skilled workforce, advanced manufacturing focus, and leading tertiary educators.

If we get this right, Geelong could emerge as a frontrunner in offshore renewables, which will be important in supporting the emerging green hydrogen industry in Geelong. With projects in the pipeline from Viva Energy, GeelongPort, Barwon Water, and Deakin University, we have the critical mass here to be a hydrogen and renewable energy hub.

Our port, our industries, and our region are ready to go.

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