The Australian Government has declared an area in the Pacific Ocean off Hunter, New South Wales, as suitable for future offshore wind development.
The Hunter area is the second declared offshore wind area in Australia following Gippsland off the Victorian coast.
The declared area covers 1,854 square kilometres between the Central Coast and Port Stephens and is 20 kilometres from the coast in the north and over 35 kilometres from the coast in the south.
It has the potential to generate up to 5 GW of renewable wind energy, enough to power an estimated 4.2m homes.
According to the Australian Government, the area has the potential to create up to 3,120 construction jobs and another 1,560 ongoing operational jobs.
The declaration comes after a 65-day public consultation period.
The next step is for developers to submit feasibility licence applications for proposed offshore wind projects. Developers will have an opportunity to do so between August 8 and November 14.
The authorities have ensured that the Hunter area is still safe for shipping and that offshore wind infrastructure is limited to a height of 260 metres over aviation safety concerns.