Australian gov’t grants A$1.5m fund for offshore wind project development
The project will provide energy to the Portland Aluminium Smelter.
The Australian government has provided A$1.5m funding to Spinifex Offshore Wind Farm to support its wind resource assessment and boost the early stage development of the 1,000-megawatt offshore wind project which will be connected to an aluminium smelter.
In a statement, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said the project located in Portland in Victoria will be connected to the National Electricity Market through the substation at the Portland Aluminium Smelter.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said this is the first project it funded that proposes the direct integration of variable renewable energy with an aluminium smelter, which supports its transition to low emissions metals.
“Metals production, especially aluminium, represents one of Australia’s most energy-intensive industries. We have a real need to help reduce emissions from smelters, which require a steady and sizeable supply of electricity to operate. Offshore wind could be a potential part of the solution space to this problem,” Miller said.
“Further, the early stage wind resource assessment of the Spinifex project will provide the industry with valuable insights regarding commercial, technical and regulatory aspects of offshore wind developments in Australia,” he added.
The smelter can produce around 358,000 tonnes of aluminium annually, which is more than 20% of the national aluminium production. It also accounts for around 10% of the state’s total electrical demand.
ARENA said the A$3.47m project is the first phase of Spinifex’s proposed development pathway for the wind farm and plans to enhance knowledge of its commercial viability.