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EDF submits application for Hunter Offshore Wind feasibility licence

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A global energy company has put forward an application with the federal government, seeking a feasibility licence for the Hunter Offshore Wind (HOW) farm.

EDF Renewables Australia, which develops, builds and operates renewable power generation plants, confirmed its submission for the project within the declared zone, which covers 1,854km2 and extends from Port Stephens to Norah Head.

It’s understood the venture will create more than 4,000 highly-skilled jobs during construction and a further 250 roles afterwards.

In its tender, EDF Renewables detailed a comprehensive development proposal, including a thorough action plan on its commitment to generating employment opportunities, fostering educational and research collaborations with the University of Newcastle, conducting extensive environmental studies over multiple years to ascertain the potential impact on marine life, and outlining its methodology for assessing the effects it may exert on current maritime and marine users.

“HOW will make an enormous contribution to the regional economy through jobs, and the souring of services and materials from local businesses, which will provide a clear and tangible pathway for the region to adapt to the ongoing and increasing decarbonisation of Australia while ensuring energy security,” CEO Dave Johnson said.

“This project was acquired by EDF Renewables from a consortium of Newcastle-based renewable energy developers, which had undertaken many years of substantial local community engagement and boasted a strong understanding of community requirements and expectations.

“The granting of a feasibility licence will allow us to further work with people to truly understand the impacts prior to beginning HOW’s assessment and approval process.

“These concerns can then be designed and addressed throughout the progression of the development process.”

Mr Johnson added EDF Renewables was deeply committed to open and transparent consultation.

“We want to hear what all of the community really thinks,” he said.

“Our commitment to regular and transparent consultation is critical to the engagement for any project, and even more so for a regionally significant transformation project such as HOW.

“I’m aware there is some trepidation in the community.

“But, I want to reassure residents that EDF Renewables Australia do more than just listen to residents and business leaders, they act upon the genuine concerns.

“During the development of other projects across our portfolio, we have amended our project scope to accommodate community concerns prior to starting the development approval processes.

“It’s important we receive a range of feedback from different stakeholders, so the project can proceed with all matters addressed.”

Mr Johnson said the EDF Renewables Australia team was very keen on the Hunter Offshore Wind farm.

“The broad regional and local benefits that such a project will bring would be transformative and long-lasting, in a region that is already on the decarbonization conveyor belt,” he explained.

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