Australia has many areas that may be suitable for offshore renewable energy infrastructure.
We regulate offshore renewable energy infrastructure in Australian Commonwealth waters under the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021. See the associated Regulatory Levies Act and Consequential Amendments Act.
Australian Commonwealth waters start 3 nautical miles from the coastline and extend to the boundary of Australia’s exclusive economic zone.
The Acts enable the construction, operation and decommissioning of offshore electricity infrastructure. They outline how and where infrastructure projects for renewable energy generation or transmission can operate.
These projects include:
Enabling the offshore renewable energy industry supports the Australian Government’s aim to:
Companies wanting to undertake offshore infrastructure projects will need a licence:
You will need a feasibility licence before applying for a commercial licence. Feasibility licences permit the holder to assess the feasibility of a project for up to 7 years.
You can apply for a feasibility or R&D licence in an area after the Minister declares it suitable for offshore renewable electricity infrastructure. Transmission licences do not need to be in a declared area.
The Offshore Infrastructure Registrar administers licences for offshore renewable energy and transmission projects. Staff within the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) assist the registrar.
Declaring suitable areas for offshore renewable energy infrastructure is a ministerial decision. Our department advises the Minister on suitable areas in consultation with:
Considering a specific area for declaration requires a 60-day public consultation process. It will take into account factors including existing marine users.
Companies applying for a licence need to submit a management plan to the Offshore Infrastructure Regulator.
The regulator sits within the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA). It oversees work health and safety, infrastructure integrity, environmental management and financial security of offshore infrastructure activities.
Your management plan details how your project will operate, including:
Content will vary according to the licence and type of project.
Your project will also need a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
You should engage with the regulator early in your project planning.
Our department consulted on offshore electricity infrastructure fees, levies and licences. Submissions closed Friday 22 April 2022.
If you are interested in further details on the framework email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: 5 July 2022
Content ID: 67614