Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Spark Renewables, Simply Blue Group and Subsea7 partner to pursue floating offshore wind development in New South Wales, Australia

A leading local developer in Australia, Spark Renewables, together with international floating offshore wind developer Simply Blue Group and global leader in the delivery of offshore projects and services, Subsea7, have formed a consortium to pursue floating offshore wind development off the coast of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, in the Hunter and Illawarra regions.

The recently declared Hunter-Central Coast and Illawarra Renewable Energy Zones offer good opportunities to support the development of floating wind alongside the potential future Commonwealth offshore wind zones, including the proposed Hunter offshore wind area. The consortium has come together because it brings complementary expertise from world-leading companies, ensuring the deliverability of the projects proposed.

Australia’s emerging offshore wind industry provides a potential pathway for the thousands of jobs expected to transition from existing industries into renewable energy. This is a critical opportunity for workers in New South Wales, as the state seeks to decarbonise its energy supply.

Spark Renewables is one of Australia’s leading developers and long-term owners of renewable energy generation assets. It has a large and diversified portfolio of operational and development stage wind, solar and storage assets across Australia, with announced projects in New South Wales and South Australia. Spark Renewables is owned by Spark Infrastructure, which also owns interests in the NSW transmission network operator Transgrid.

Simply Blue Group is a leading early-stage developer of floating offshore wind. The company currently has a pipeline of 10 GW of projects in Ireland, UK, Europe, and America and is committed to creating new economic opportunities for coastal communities, and developing projects that co-exist with sustainable fisheries and marine conservation.

With a local presence in Perth Australia, Subsea7 is a global leader in the delivery of offshore projects and services for the energy industry. It has a strong track record, having successfully completed over a 1,000 projects, including some of the largest offshore wind projects worldwide.

Subsea7 has already partnered with Simply Blue Group on the Salamander floating offshore wind project in Scotland.

Sam Roch-Perks, Group CEO, Simply Blue Group, said: “With a long coastline and stable continental shelf, we see huge potential for offshore floating wind projects off New South Wales. The State Government of New South Wales has announced key Renewable Energy Zones making it clear that it’s committed to a diverse, affordable, modern energy system, with wind energy firmly in the mix. I’m looking forward to meeting again personally with local stakeholders over the coming weeks to further progress our plans. We hope to bring the valuable lessons learnt from our existing global portfolio of over 10 GW of floating wind projects to Australia.”

Head of Spark Renewables, Anthony Marriner, said: “The consortium will investigate the suitability of areas for developing an offshore wind farm within the proposed Hunter offshore area and the foreshadowed Illawarra offshore area. Community-wide and stakeholder-specific consultation with ecological agencies, Traditional Owners, Australian maritime, aviation and defence must inform any site identification process before we proceed to determining specific projects. As a NSW-based company, we understand the community issues, and this is a key focus for us on all our projects. We are excited by the opportunities that offshore wind projects can bring to NSW, including an increase in local manufacturing and therefore more jobs to support the local economy.”

Darren Cormell, Subsea7, VP Floating Wind, said: “There is a great potential to enable an offshore wind energy solution for the New South Wales population, and achieving a cleaner energy mix for the future. With more than a decade of successful delivery of large-scale offshore wind developments, group capabilities that span early development phases through to delivery, and a successful track record of more than 40 years in offshore projects in Australia, we are excited to bring our capabilities and experience to making floating wind in New South Wales possible.”

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