Developer submits proposal for second wind farm offshore Western Australia

Aug. 12, 2022
Copenhagen Energy plans an offshore wind farm in Commonwealth and State waters north of Geraldton, Western Australia.

Offshore staff

PERTH, Australia  Copenhagen Energy plans an offshore wind farm in Commonwealth and State waters north of Geraldton, Western Australia.

The Midwest Offshore Wind Farm will comprise up to 200 turbines and six substations delivering 3 GW of electricity, powering up to 3 million homes and businesses, for up to 50 years.

Turbines will be installed over a 700-sq-km area that is 10 km to 70 km offshore from Kalbarri.

Copenhagen Energy’s analysis suggests that for each 1 GW of power, the development would create 14,500 direct and indirect jobs during construction and 200 jobs during operation, also offsetting up to 6 MM metric tons per year of CO2.

Earlier, the company proposed the Leeuwin Offshore Wind Farm over an area between Mandurah and Bunbury, south of Perth. This too would feature up to 200 turbines and six substations.

The Perth/Bunbury region is one of six offshore wind zones recently announced by the federal government. The state government has said it plans to close state-owned coal-fired power stations and seek alternative power sources for its southwest grid.

A spokesman for Copenhage Energy said, “Western Australia has ambitious plans for hydrogen production. The real environmental potential of hydrogen is only realized if the process is powered by renewable energy, so there is a significant, growing demand for green energy for those projects…

“We will be talking to a range of local, state and federal government agencies and local community, tourism and fishing groups about our project and how we can develop it successfully.”

The proposal has been submitted to the Federal Department of Water and the Environment for initial assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. If approved, the company would aim to start the 36-month construction process in 2028, with first power in 2030.

Feasibility studies have found that the offshore environment along the Western Australia coastline offers a powerful and consistent wind resource, with the potential to generate more electricity at a steadier rate than most other renewable energy sources.

And the consistent, strong wind patterns are said to provide an opportunity to develop high-capacity offshore wind power near key demand centers.

Each turbine will deliver between 15 MW and 25 MW of electricity, with transmission cables on or beneath the seabed taking the generated electricity onshore to a point north of Kalbarri, and from there to a load center or electricity connection point.