Plans for an offshore wind development project at Port Kembla, part of the NSW government’s draft Illawarra Renewable Energy Zone, have been unveiled. NSW Ports has proposed a large-scale port facility at Port Kembla’s Outer Harbour to support the project, which has the potential to attract $43 billion in investment across 44 proposed projects, including eight offshore wind generation farms. The facility would provide a hub for the infrastructure and upkeep demands of offshore wind. Port Kembla is already used to import and transport onshore wind components to support wind farms in NSW.
Energy Minister Matt Kean noted that generating energy close to where it is used keeps costs down by reducing the need for transmission infrastructure. NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said Port Kembla is ideal for delivering offshore wind projects as it is close to Greater Sydney’s population and industrial lands, and is adjacent to the federal government’s proposed Illawarra offshore wind development zone.
Calfas said the proposed facility would create jobs, foster domestic innovation and reduce carbon emissions, but it requires collaboration between government, private enterprise, industry and the community. She urged for action to take advantage of the opportunities presented by offshore wind development.