A proposed $4 billion wind farm near Portland could fully power Portland's Aluminium Smelter.
Alinta Energy revealed plans for the 1000 megawatt wind farm, which would be established about 10 kilometres off the coast of Portland, last week.
The Spinifex Offshore Wind Farm would connect to the grid via the smelter and would make the site among Australia's first smelters to be powered by up to 100 per cent renewables.
Alinta Energy's head of project development Kris Lynch said the company would conduct wind monitoring, site surveys and kicking off consultation in the new year.
"Existing data suggest Portland Bay has an excellent wind resource that would be suitable to power offshore wind turbines," Mr Lynch said.
"What we're doing now is deploying monitoring equipment to ensure that's also the case across the investigation area."
Mr Lynch said the company believed the proposed wind farm would need to be about 1000 megawatts to be viable.
"The area we're investigating is around 500 square kilometres and about 10 kilometres from the shoreline and the great thing about this proposal is that we can connect to the grid via the smelter and won't need to build new powerlines on private land," Mr Lynch said.
"We also know the area has environmental, commercial and recreational uses and values that need to be thoroughly investigated and discussed, and we intend to kick off a more regular series of updates and discussions in the first half of 2022
"We're sharing the news at this early stage because we want to be able to speak openly with everyone as our initial investigations progress," he said.
Mr Lynch said Alinta Energy was keen to speak to experts and community members about the project specifics, including the size of the turbines and where they will go.
Portland Aluminium Smelter manager Ron Jorgensen said the exciting proposal aligned with the aluminium industry's direction to decarbonise.
He said it also had the potential to further improve the long-term viability of the Portland smelter.
"This proposal offers an ability to make a step change impact to Portland Aluminium's carbon footprint and we welcome the opportunity to be involved in supporting the early phase investigations of a such an exciting renewable project on the Australian energy landscape," he said.
Mr Lynch met with Mr Jorgensen at the smelter last week to discuss the proposed wind farm.
IN OTHER NEWS:
We have removed our paywall from our stories about the coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we aim to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.