A chorus of union and business groups have backed the federal government's selection of the Illawarra as a location for offshore wind farms.
Federal Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen announced the Illawarra was one of six proposed regions to host the water-based wind turbines on Friday.
Public consultation on a location in Gippsland, Victoria is already undeway, with further details for the Illawarra nad the other four regions to be announced soon.
Business Illawarra executive director Adam Zarth said the decision meant early consultations with firms including Oceanex Energy and BlueFloat Energy could move forward.
"This announcement provides the much-needed certainty for these proponents to invest further and for the community to prepare and plan for these major projects," he said.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union state secretary NSW and ACT, Cory Wright, said offshore wind turbines could energise industry on land.
"Australia could become a global offshore wind superpower, creating a long-term sustainable manufacturing industry, and a jobs boom here in NSW," he said.
"Training should be prioritised to ensure local workers are positioned for long-term sustainable jobs and Australian industry is capable to maximise opportunities from the shift to renewables."
"Having our own local steel works at Port Kembla means that BlueScope will invest further in expanding its current manufacture and supply of the steel required for wind turbine components on the back of this announcement which is another boost for the region," Mr Zarth said.
Mr Wright said offshore wind farms could provide social and economic boost, in addition to the environmental benefits of renewable energy.
"By actively ensuring towers and turbines are produced locally, the environmental benefits would be amplified by delivering economic and social outcomes."
Mr Zarth also highlighted that electricity generated by offshore wind farms, which are generally more consistent in the production of energy than land-based wind farms, could provide the power needed for the production of green hydrogen.
"Unlocking wind energy for the Illawarra also significantly improves Port Kembla's prospects of developing a green hydrogen industry and distribution hub for the southwest of NSW and for export to international markets, especially in Asia."
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