The Australian state of Victoria sets out a rapid growth plan for offshore wind power

MELBOURNE, March 4 (Reuters) – Australia’s state of Victoria on Friday set targets of at least 2 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power by 2032 and 9 GW by 2040, setting ambitious targets to fill a gap in electricity supply than coal close – fired plants shut down.

Australia, which is heavily dependent on coal power, currently has no offshore wind farms, although it has 7.4 GW of onshore wind power capacity.

Legislation last year paving the way for offshore projects breathed life into the sector, which has proposed 10 projects aimed at capitalizing on strong wind resources along thousands of kilometers of coastline.

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Victoria’s offshore wind plan, which has a target of 4 GW by 2035, follows a pledge by the Victorian Government last November to allocate A$40 million (US$29 million) to conduct feasibility and pre-engineering studies on three projects totaling 4.7 GW could generate GW.

The most advanced of these is the A$9 billion (US$7 billion) Star of the South project, which is targeting up to 2.2 GW of capacity and is being led by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

“Offshore wind is no longer a possibility, it’s becoming a certainty,” Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said in a statement.

Victoria’s coal-fired power stations are set to close by 2045, but industry experts expect them to close well before that as coal-fired power stations become less and less competitive amid rapid growth in wind and solar capacity.

($1 = 1.3628 Australian Dollars)

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Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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