Spain’s BlueFloat invests in Australian renewables

Spanish renewable energy firm BlueFloat Energy has unveiled plans to develop Eastern Rise, a floating offshore wind farm in Australia.

The floating wind farm, expected to producing some 1.7GW of power, will be built in a proposed offshore wind zone in the Hunter Region, which had been announced by Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen.

BlueFloat Energy CEO Carlos Martin said: “The announcement is the latest demonstration of BlueFloat Energy’s commitment to being a long-term partner to Australia and New Zealand, developing world-class offshore wind projects.”

“BlueFloat Energy hopes that through collaboration with government at all levels, industry, communities and other offshore wind proponents, it can create a lasting impact on Australia’s transition and cement the nation’s position as a clean energy superpower.”

Eastern Rise is expected to be completed over a period of seven years and will create several local jobs in its development phase.

Last November, BlueFloat Energy announced plans to make a “multi-billion-dollar” planned investment in offshore wind projects in New Zealand alongside Energy Estate and Elemental Group. The projects will be the consortium’s second investment under a nationwide programme to develop up to 5GW of offshore wind capacity.

The news comes offshore wind developer Flotation Energy has formed a partnership with the University of Melbourne to support Australia’s transition to renewable energy by producing graduates and future leaders for the energy sector.

The University’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Flotation Energy, which has offshore wind projects in Australia, Japan, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, specialising in both bottom-fixed and floating wind farms.

As well as developing students’ and researchers’ skills in the growing renewable energy sector, both parties claimed that the partnership will allow Flotation Energy to incorporate cutting-edge research into their processes, design and training. 

The partnership will also involve the development of Victoria’s first offshore wind farms, Flotation Energy’s Seadragon project, which is expected to commence construction in Bass Strait in 2028.

Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Acting Dean Professor Frank Vetere said the partnership with Flotation Energy paves the way for innovation, education and research to advance Australia’s clean energy transition.

“Offshore wind energy will become an important new clean industry for Australia. Flotation Energy’s goals align strongly with our mission to help solve major societal challenges. By pooling our expertise, not only will we be supporting offshore wind energy production and reducing Australia’s carbon emissions, we’ll also be preparing job-ready graduates and future leaders for this exciting new renewable energy industry.”

“We can also help upskill the local energy workforce to translate their skills to work in the renewable energy sector,” Professor Vetere said.