EDF invests in Australian offshore wind

EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of the French global energy player EDF, has invested in one of the biggest proposed offshore wind projects in Australia.

EDF has bought the Newcastle Offshore Wind (NOW) project, touted as a potential 10GW resource that is located within the proposed Hunter-Central Coast renewable energy zone.

The company said the project is likely to be developed in stages, aligning with the progressive retirement of the region’s ageing coal fired power stations, most if not all of which will be closed within a decade.

The acquisition by EDF is just the latest in a series of moves into the nascent Australian offshore wind industry by many of the world’s biggest energy players, including Ørsted, Equinor, and Iberdrola.

The first offshore wind farms are likely to be built in Gippsland in Victoria, the first zone to be officially declared by the federal government and which will pave the way for the first detailed feasibility studies.

EDF says it has more than 10 years of expertise in offshore wind energy, operates seven offshore wind farms around the world, and is building another five, including its first floating offshore wind project in France.

“We are a significant player in developing large, complex projects like the proposed Newcastle Offshore Wind Farm,” said Dave Johnson, the head of EDF Renewables in Australia.

He added that the original developers of the project, NOWE (Newcastle Offshore Wind Energy), who are based in Newcastle, had put a lot of effort in working with the local community and other stakeholders over the last 10 years.

“This landmark project will be developed in collaboration with a strong local team based in Newcastle, and will require the establishment of an entirely new industry in Australia,” he said.

“I am very confident that this project will play a crucial role in providing new opportunities for employment, establishing new business and the revitalisation of existing business looking to transition from existing industries”.