Spark Renewables is holding a series of workshops to exchange ideas with community members on sharing the benefits of renewable energy. This is an open-invitation event to be held at three locations:
This is an open-invitation event to be held at three locations:
Coleambally Community Club, 3 Falcon Road, at 6pm on Tuesday, 22 August 2023
Darlington Point Sports Club, 6 Demamiel Street, at 6pm on Wednesday, 23 August 2023
Jerilderie Civic Hall, Ian Gilbert Room, 33 Jerilderie Street, at 6pm on Thursday, 24 August 2023
There will be a presentation of ideas put forward to date and experience from other projects, followed by an open discussion. Light refreshments will be provided.
If you’re unable to attend the workshops but interested in discussing benefit-sharing, please contact us to set up a meeting or a call via emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a message at 1300 271 419.
Sea Fern Floating Offshore Wind project excited to be part of the newly declared Hunter wind zone
18 July 2023
A consortium consisting of global wind and offshore specialists Simply Blue Group and Subsea7, and local renewable energy developer Spark Renewables will be spearheading the development of the Sea Fern Floating Offshore Wind project in the Commonwealth’s newly declared Pacific Ocean off the Hunter wind zone, in New South Wales. The project will have a generation capacity of up to 2 gigawatts (GW).
The name ‘Sea Fern’ was selected for its strong connection to the native flora of the Hunter coast, symbolising values of sustainability, innovation and environmental consciousness, aligning with the consortium’s core principals.
Sea Fern Floating Offshore Wind unites local and global industry leaders, each bringing critical components and renowned expertise to this alliance. This powerful consortium is well-positioned to manage the challenges of developing floating wind technology and realise the ambitious vision of offshore wind power, new economic opportunities for coastal communities, and ‘Just Transition’ from traditional energy sources to a sustainable and low-carbon future.
Simply Blue Group is at the forefront in advancing floating offshore wind projects, which will be vital in unlocking Australia’s deep-water wind resource. With an impressive portfolio of over 10 GW of floating wind under development and successful projects globally they have established themselves as pioneers in the field. Simply Blue Group also develops other blue economy projects, that might be co-located with offshore wind farms to maximise the utilisation of project sites.
Subsea7 is a trusted leader in delivering offshore projects and services for the energy industry backed by more than a decade of proven offshore wind installations and over 40 years of Australian project experience. With extensive front-end capabilities, project delivery expertise and ownership of a global, highly versatile and capable fleet of installation vessels, they provide a vital piece of the supply chain puzzle. Subsea7 has a strong track record of over 1,000 projects successfully completed and safely delivered worldwide. As a key partner in the project, Subsea7 will be integral to the delivery of Sea Fern Floating Offshore Wind.
Spark Renewables is one of Australia’s premier developers and owners of renewable energy assets, with a proven track record of delivering electricity to the grid. Spark Renewables has a substantial development portfolio spanning solar, wind and battery storage projects. With deep experience in developing onshore renewable projects, they have successfully cultivated robust partnerships with local communities in NSW. Spark Renewables brings invaluable experience to the project for navigating onshore planning requirements and delivering the power to the grid.
Each member of this alliance brings extensive knowledge and achievements, united by a shared vision: to deliver an offshore floating wind project in the Hunter region, which, at its core, maximises long-term opportunities for Australia.
Simply Blue Group and Subsea7 have worked together since 2019 to successfully develop one of Scotland’s most advanced floating offshore wind projects (the Salamander Offshore Wind Farm) and will use this experience to successfully deliver the Sea Fern project in Australia.
Sea Fern Floating Offshore Wind is currently at the inception phase of applying for a Feasibility Licence under the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021. A Feasibility Licence, if granted, will enable the project team to consult and work collaboratively with the community, businesses, and industry.
Simply Blue Group, Subsea7 and Spark Renewables will be working with local specialist contractors to design a stakeholder engagement framework. The Sea Fern Floating Offshore Wind team will seek to listen to and engage with communities to build and maintain a long-term relationship with Newcastle and broader New South Wales.
Within the 7-year Feasibility Licence period the project team would undertake the necessary technical, environmental and social impact studies, approvals and consultation, to ensure the project will be safe and viable.
Success through this process would provide certainty of licencing required for accessing the seabed and represent the start of a long-term project. The development approval would be required by 2030 to start construction, with expected operations running through to the 2060s and beyond.
More information about the project can be found on the website: seafernwind.au.
Spark Renewables, Simply Blue Group and Subsea7 partner to pursue floating offshore wind development in New South Wales, Australia
22 March 2023
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 proposed 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 declared 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.
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.”
For more information please contact:
Spark Renewables, Marju Tonisson, Communications, +61 435 570 690 Simply Blue Group, Sara Mackeown, Group Communications Director +353 86 104 4011 Subsea7, Tracey Miller, Group Communications Manager +44 1224 265 733
About Spark Renewables
Spark Renewables is one of Australia’s leading developers and long-term owners of renewable energy generation assets.
Starting in 2018 with a 120 MWdc Bomen Solar Farm in Wagga Wagga, NSW, the potential generation capacity of our development portfolio has grown rapidly to approximately 7 GW and spans solar, wind and battery storage projects.
Our goal is to develop and build projects leading the renewable energy transition in Australia. We work with industry innovators and tertiary institutions to provide sustainable, socially acceptable solutions for generation of electricity.
Spark Renewables is based in Manly, NSW, and is part of the Spark Infrastructure Group. Find out more at www.sparkrenewables.com.
About Simply Blue Group
Simply Blue Group, headquartered in Cork, Ireland, is a leading blue economy developer focused on replacing fossil fuels with clean ocean energy. It develops pioneering blue economy projects – floating offshore wind, e-Fuels, wave energy and low-impact aquaculture – all in harmony with the oceans. The company has a pipeline of over 10 GW of floating offshore wind projects across the globe.
Simply Blue Group is committed to creating new economic opportunities for coastal communities, and developing projects that co-exist with sustainable fisheries and marine conservation.
With a passionate team of over 100 people, Simply Blue Group has offices in Cork, Dublin, Newquay, Pembrokeshire, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Bilbao, Oregon and Nova Scotia.
Subsea7 is a global leader in the delivery of offshore projects and services for the energy industry. Subsea7 makes offshore energy transition possible through the continuous evolution of lower-carbon oil and gas and by enabling the growth of renewables and emerging energy. Find out more at www.subsea7.com.
Spark Renewables announces proposed Wattle Creek Energy Hub in partnership with the University of Sydney
24 February 2023
Following an extensive market selection process, renewable energy developer and long-term owner and operator, Spark Renewables, has been selected by the University of Sydney to investigate and develop a hybrid renewable energy facility on the University’s Arthursleigh property, located in the New South Wales Southern Tablelands.
The proposed site is situated approximately 12 kilometres north-east of Marulan, and approximately two hours’ drive from Sydney. The proposal is strategically positioned to make use of an existing high voltage substation, located adjacent to the property, to deliver clean, renewable energy from the energy hub to the University, local electricity users and the rest of NSW.
If approved, the Wattle Creek Energy Hub could generate up to 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the sun and wind, providing enough clean, reliable energy to power around 170,000 households per year while offsetting the emission of around 950,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The proposal also includes the installation of a large-scale battery with a capacity of up to 500 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, which would be dispatched on command to provide a range of network support services.
A key element of the proposed energy hub is a two acre “test-bed facility”, which would enable the University of Sydney to undertake research on new and emerging technologies, including further testing of innovative battery systems developed by Gelion, a company spun out from the University in 2015.
Spark Renewables and the University have also agreed to an ongoing research agreement throughout the life of the energy hub, collaborating on initiatives related to clean energy in the fields of science, engineering, business and economics. The proposed partnership will also include a work experience and placement program for undergraduate and PhD students.
The project design will ensure that the University’s existing commercial research and teaching activities can continue on the Arthursleigh farm, with the wind turbines occupying a small proportion of the 6,200 hectare property and the solar farm designed to allow sheep to graze underneath the solar panels.
Anthony Marriner, Head of Spark Renewables, said: “We are honoured to have been selected by the University of Sydney to investigate and develop the proposed Wattle Creek Energy Hub. We look forward to collaborating with the University.”
Spark Renewables will shortly commence consultation with local community members, Traditional Owners and other interested stakeholders.
“If approved, Wattle Creek Energy Hub will bring significant benefits for both the local community and broader region in the form of job creation, investment in the local infrastructure, and through the provision of long-term funding for local social and environmental initiatives. Our commitment includes the establishment of a substantial community benefit fund and also a separate neighbour benefit scheme, which could be used to lower household electricity costs,” Mr Marriner said.
University of Sydney Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research – Enterprise and Engagement) Professor Julie Cairney said: “This long-term partnership with Spark Renewables will support a research program and infrastructure for the translation of research into innovative renewable energy technologies. New clean energy products and knowledge will benefit Australia’s environment and the economy. We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
The first community drop-in session for the proposed Wattle Creek Energy Hub project will be held from 2-7pm on Thursday, 9 March 2023 at the Marulan War Memorial Hall (80 George Street, Marulan, 2579). Community members will be able to talk to the Spark Renewables’ team to learn more about the project and provide initial feedback.
Spark Renewables is a developer and long-term owner and operator of renewable energy generation assets. Our operational portfolio comprises of the 100 MW Bomen Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga which commenced operations in 2020. Our large development portfolio includes a number of wind, solar and storage projects in the National Electricity Market.
Spark Renewables is owned by the Spark Infrastructure Group – an owner of leading essential energy infrastructure, including generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure across Australia.
Spark Renewables is a member of the Clean Energy Council (CEC) and a signatory to the CEC’s Best Practice Charter for Renewable Energy Developments.
About Arthursleigh Farm
The farm was bequeathed to the University in 1979 and is operated commercially producing Merino wool, Angus cattle and cereals while supporting a range of teaching and research.
The Wattle Creek Energy Hub is a hybrid renewable energy facility proposed on the ‘Arthursleigh’ property owned by University of Sydney, located approximately 12km north-east of Marulan in the NSW Southern Tablelands region, situated in the Upper Lachlan Shire.
The Energy Hub is proposed to include a wind farm, solar farm and a Battery Energy Storage Facility (BESS).
The project is being developed by Spark Renewables, a leading developer and long-term owner and operator of renewable energy assets. If it proceeds, the project could also support university research and education through a new, onsite, test-bed facility, a research fund and other initiatives.
We are keen to hear from community members and interested stakeholders and will be holding an initial community drop-in session from 2pm to 7pm on Thursday, 9th March 2023 at the Marulan War Memorial Hall, 80 George Street, Marulan. Community members will be able to talk to the Spark Renewables team, learn more about the proposal, and provide initial feedback. Please see the last page of this newsletter for further information.
Why this site?
The proposed site is strategically located to take advantage of local wind conditions, the local solar resource and its location relative to the existing electricity transmission network with a proposed connection to the Marulan Substation.
About the site
The farm is owned by the University of Sydney after being bequeathed in 1979. The farm is operated commercially and is used for a range of research initiatives including agricultural science, pasture agronomy and unmanned aerial vehicle applications. Agricultural land use will continue with the operation of the project, with sheep grazing within the wind and solar farm areas.
What are the community benefits?
The local community will be able to benefit from a range of opportunities connected with the proposal if progressed, including a community fund and a neighbour benefit fund. Spark Renewables is looking to work with local stakeholders to co-design a program that meets the unique needs of the wider community, and delivers long-lasting social, economic and environmental benefits for decades to come. We are keen to hear any ideas from community members as the benefit scheme is developed. If you wish to have a chat or organise a time to meet, please contact us via email at email@example.com or call 1300 271 419.
Committed to reconciliation
Spark Renewables is putting in place a Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan and is committed to creating lasting, positive change for Aboriginal communities. We acknowledge that setting a benchmark as part of First Nations participation plans for each of our projects will be an important step to achieve economic empowerment of First Nations people.
What approvals are required?
The proposal would be considered a State Significant Development and would require development consent under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EP&A Act). Three Development Applications (DAs) are proposed to be submitted, one for each component of the proposed project (wind, solar and BESS), which would be accompanied by detailed Environmental Impact Statements (EISs). These would include comprehensive assessments identifying the potential impacts of the Project and how to best manage these impacts. A detailed Social Impact Assessment (SIA) would also be prepared for each component of the project as part of the EISs.
The SIAs would include a comprehensive community engagement program and would be prepared following the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s (DPE) Social Impact Assessment Guideline for State Significant Projects (2021). The Project may also require approval under the federal Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
What is proposed
Up to 34 wind turbine generators typically spaced 500-1000 meters apart and connected via underground cables.
Modern wind turbines have a tower (hub) height up to 180 metres and blade length up to 100 metres.
Photovoltaic (PV) panels mounted on single axis trackers that slowly rotate and follow the sun from east to west each day.
A containerised BESS built within the wind and solar farm enabling electricity to be stored and then exported as needed.
Noise and vibration
Social impact assessment
Traffic and access
Flooding and hydrology
What is a Scoping Report?
A Scoping Report is the first step in the development application process. A Scoping Report provides an outline of the proposed project and identifies important issues that will require further technical studies, assessment and consultation, and is a formal request to the DPE to issue Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs). Separate Scoping Reports will be developed for each of the three technology components of the Project.
Who is developing the EISs and SIAs?
Spark Renewables has commissioned Umwelt Environmental and Social Consultants to undertake a series of preliminary environmental and technical assessments and to prepare the three Scoping Reports. Umwelt will be consulting with the community alongside Spark Renewables and Spectrum Communications to inform the preparation of the EISs and SIAs.
The NSW Government has a legislated planning process in eight stages to ensure that a project is suitable for the community, economy, and environment, and therefore whether it should be granted a development approval.
The proposed Wattle Creek Energy Hub project is in the early stages of development and will undergo rigorous planning and assessment. As part of this, we will undertake extensive community consultation and encourage all stakeholders and community members to get involved in this process. This will occur prior to formal development applications being submitted to planning authorities.
You are welcome to drop in to our first information session at any time to meet the Spark Renewables team, ask questions and learn about the proposed Wattle Creek Energy Hub. We are hosting a face-to-face session at:
Marulan War Memorial Hall 80 George Street, Marulan, NSW, 2579
Thursday, 9th March 2023 between 2pm-7pm
Call us at 1300 271 419
Visit Facebook at facebook.com/wattlecreekenergyhub
SEARs for the proposed Mallee Wind Farm project issued
20 February 2023
Spark Renewables has received the NSW Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for the proposed Mallee Wind Farm. The SEARs will guide the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement as part of the development application process.
We are pleased to be progressing to the next stage of the comprehensive NSW planning approval process*, which will involve detailed studies and close consultation with the community and authorities.
Key studies that will be carried out include:
Investigations of biodiversity
Noise and vibration
This is an important step that will help us better understand and refine our site and ultimately build a great project.
Spark Renewables has reached a significant milestone for the proposed 1-gigawatt Mallee Wind Farm development, our second project in the formally declared NSW South-West Renewable Energy Zone, sitting at the opposite end of the Dinawan Energy Hub project.
The project is proposed to be within the formally declared NSW South-West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ). Sitting at the opposite end of the REZ to the proposed Dinawan Energy Hub (also being developed by Spark Renewables), Mallee Wind Farm would provide a unique opportunity to significantly strengthen and secure the transmission network within the REZ by leveraging the battery storage capabilities of each project.
The proposed Mallee Wind Farm project is located west of the NSW South-West Renewable Energy Zone
Spark Renewables has commissioned consultants to undertake a series of preliminary environmental assessments and prepare a Scoping Report for the wind farm. The Scoping Report outlines the proposed project in more detail and identifies important issues that will require further assessment, consultation or technical studies.
The Scoping Report was submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and is available via the following link: Mallee Wind Farm Scoping Report.
Next, the DPE will issue its requirements, known as Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs), within 28 days of receiving the Scoping Report. The SEARs will need to be addressed in a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will be prepared over this year.
The community will be consulted further during the EIS preparation and have the opportunity to make a formal submission when the EIS goes on public exhibition. Part of the EIS will be a Social Impact Assessment, a survey in which all community and stakeholders are invited to participate to provide feedback about their concerns and perspectives about the project. The Mallee Wind Farm Social Impact Assessment survey is available here.
If you have any questions or would like to set up a meeting, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 1300 271 419.
Dinawan Energy Hub project Scoping Reports submitted
16 November 2022
The Dinawan Energy Hub is a proposed hybrid wind, solar and battery storage project located about halfway between Coleambally and Jerilderie, on the land of the traditional owners of the Wiradjuri people and several smaller nations of the Murrumbidgee plains.
The Energy Hub is proposed to be within the NSW South-West Renewable Energy Zone and is developed by Spark Renewables, a leading developer and long-term owner of renewable energy projects.
Spark Renewables has commissioned consultants to undertake a series of preliminary environmental assessments and prepare two Scoping Reports: one for the proposed wind farm and one for the solar farm. The Scoping Reports outline the proposed project in more detail and identify important issues that will require further assessment, consultation or technical studies.
The Scoping Reports were submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and are available vial the following links:
Next, the DPE will issue its requirements, known as Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs), within 28 days of receiving the Scoping Reports. The SEARs will need to be addressed in a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for each project that will be prepared over the coming year.
The community will be consulted further during the EIS preparation and have the opportunity to make a formal submission when the EIS goes on public exhibition.
If you have any questions or would like to set up a meeting, please contact us at email@example.com or leave a message at 1300 271 419.
Generation capacity of 1,500 MW (wind farm) and 1,000 MW (solar farm).
‘On demand’ battery energy with a capacity of 300 MW.
Powering up to 1 million homes.
Equivalent to offsetting ~6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually or planting 160,000 eucalyptus trees each year.
Jobs and training: ~1,000 construction jobs and 50-100 operations and maintenance jobs.