New partnership to fast-track Australia’s offshore wind and renewable energy future

L-R: Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Professor Mark Cassidy; Ørsted Australia Director Henriette Holm.

The University of Melbourne Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT) has partnered with Ørsted, the world’s largest offshore wind developer, to bolster Australia’s shift towards renewable energy by combining extensive worldwide expertise with cutting-edge Australian research capabilities.

Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Dean Professor Mark Cassidy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ørsted, which has over thirty years of experience in the development of offshore wind energy projects with wind farms across three continents in Europe, America and the Asia-Pacific region.

The MOU will bring together Ørsted’s unique operational experience with the University’s deep knowledge of the local marine environment, biodiversity and Indigenous Sea Country to help design and deliver the best offshore wind outcomes in Australia.

In addition to fostering academic and research cooperation within the offshore wind sector, the partnership will also focus on enhancing the preparedness of students and researchers for careers in the growing renewable energy sector.

University of Melbourne Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Dean Professor Mark Cassidy welcomed the partnership.

“This MOU with Ørsted will allow us to play a pivotal role in unlocking the potential of offshore wind energy, with long-term benefits for local communities, the economy and the overall environment,” Professor Cassidy said.

Ørsted Australia Director Henriette Holm said the partnership will leverage the strengths of two global leaders in their respective fields that are committed to Australia’s offshore wind and renewable energy future.

“Ørsted is delighted to join forces with the University of Melbourne to help Australia fast-track and benefit from its enormous offshore wind potential.

“With the sharing of expert local and global knowledge, the MOU will help accelerate collaboration around offshore wind opportunities to deliver the best outcomes for Australian communities, workforces, educators, businesses and the environment.

“Ørsted is a strong believer in long-term academic partnerships, which have helped it achieve unrivalled success in constructing 33 offshore wind farms across Europe, the US and Asia Pacific.”

Ørsted believes the development of an Australian offshore wind industry holds huge potential for experienced professionals with transferrable skills and those just entering the workforce. The initial phase of Ørsted’s proposed project off the coast of Gippsland in Victoria will create up to 6,000 jobs, with local workers and students able to tap into its technical knowledge and skills transfer programmes.

University of Melbourne lead Dr Shiaohuey Chow said that the University is well-positioned to provide access to, and targeted development of, a dedicated workforce.

“I am excited to work together with Ørsted to contribute towards unlocking offshore wind energy in Australia. Extending beyond workforce development, our research capabilities at the University of Melbourne will support Ørsted to tackle challenges unique to the Australian development of offshore wind farms,” Dr Chow said.

The partnership with Ørsted will begin with a guest lecture on offshore wind foundation design delivered by Ørsted Senior Specialist, Avi Shonberg, in a newly launched subject ‘Offshore Wind Geotechnical Engineering’.