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"Will wind turbines tower over the coast?"

Will the Hunter offshore wind farm be visible at shore? 

FACT: If Hunter offshore wind is developed, wind turbines will not tower over the coast; they will be more or less visually insignificant.

The proposed zone for wind turbines is well over 20km out from sea, meaning that though turbines will be visible in some conditions, they will be difficult to see onshore.

Factors that can affect visibility include weather and air conditions, size of the turbines, the viewing location elevation, and curvature of the Earth. 


"Is wind power an ineffective source of energy?"

Is offshore wind power reliable?

Will Hunter offshore wind be a reliable energy source? 

FACT: Offshore wind effectively supplies power and could be a valuable component of our energy mix.


Offshore wind is a strong and reliable power source. The wind offshore consistently and steadily blows, more so than onshore wind, and tends to blow harder, making it a source of cheap, reliable energy at peak times.

  • Wind turbines can generate an enormous amount of power, with the average turbine generating enough energy in 90 minutes to power a house for a month. 

  • The proposed Hunter offshore wind development will have the potential to generate 5GW of renewable energy, enough to power 4.2 million homes.

Because of these reasons, offshore wind energy is an important component of a reliable energy grid mix.

"Will wind turbines threaten birds?"

Will wind turbines kill birds?

Is Hunter offshore wind a threat to birds?

FACT: Offshore wind turbines present only a negligible collision risk to birds, and there is significant evidence that this small risk can be effectively mitigated.


Scientists widely agree that climate change poses the single greatest threat to birds, and establishing wind energy is key in slowing climate change and protecting birds.

Wind turbines can minimally increase risk of bird deaths by collision, but:

  • The number of birds dying by turbine collision is miniscule compared to the estimated 14 million estimated bird deaths caused by non-renewable energy plants. Further, cats kill more birds in a single year in the US than turbines do in a decade.

  • The risk of bird collision has been exaggerated, especially by disingenuous actors cherry picking and citing outdated information and studies. 

  • The risk of bird collision can be effectively mitigated with proven mitigation strategies and stringent environmental assessment and planning. One study found fatalities can be reduced by 70% by simply painting a single blade on a turbine black.

  • It's also worth noting that wind turbines would be placed more than 500 metres apart, providing wide corridors between turbines to further minimise risk of collision. 


"Will wind power affect whales and dolphins?"

Will wind turbines kill whales and dolphins off the Hunter and Port Stephens?

Are offshore wind farms a threat to whales and dolphins?


FACT: There is no evidence that whales deaths in the USA were caused by offshore wind. The scientific evidence we have so far indicates that responsibly establishing offshore wind and moving away from non-renewables will lead to better outcomes for these animals.


Scientists and environmental groups like Greenpeace overwhelmingly agree that climate change is the most serious threat to ocean wildlife and reducing carbon emissions is the best way to protect wildlife. Stringent environmental assessment and planning of offshore wind will ensure wildlife are protected and potential risks are mitigated.

The welfare of whales in relation to offshore wind has been one of the biggest subjects of rampant misinformation, fuelled by international figures like Donald Trump and the circulation of intentionally misleading fake academic articles online.

Prominently, a spate of tragic whale deaths in the USA have been falsely attributed by conservative politicians and media personalities to sonar used in offshore wind development, despite evidence that deaths were caused primarily by ship collisions and fishing gear entanglement. It's worth noting that noise from offshore wind development is significantly more quiet and less harmful than equipment used to survey the ocean floor for offshore oil and gas industry.

Locally, a falsified article purporting to be published in the academic journal Marine Policy was circulated on social media in October. It falsely claimed that wind energy projects off the NSW coast would kill 400 whales a year.

Here are the facts:

  • A recent study found offshore wind did not negatively impact dolphins, and that dolphin occurrences actually increased during and following construction.

"Will fishing be negatively impacted?"

Will offshore wind farms ruin fishing in the Hunter and Port Stephens?

Should fishers/anglers be worried about Hunter offshore wind?


FACT: Evidence shows that the development of Hunter offshore wind could actually greatly improve fishing opportunities in the region.

Around the world, offshore wind farms coexist successfully with anglers. Offshore wind can actually improve local fishing by creating rich underwater habitats and improving fish abundance and diversity


Minister Chris Bowen has indicated he will approve recreational fishers to travel and fish within the wind farm zone.

Additionally, licensees are required to consult with fishers and avoid, mitigate and offset any impacts on fishing.

Join the conversation and keep up to date with offshore wind.

"Will wind turbines affect the surf?"

Will offshore wind farms ruin the surf and swell in Port Stephens and the Hunter? Should surfers be worried about Hunter offshore wind turbines?


FACT: A Hunter offshore wind farm would have no impact on surf conditions.

Offshore wind farms exist off the coast of surf beaches around the world and cause no harm to surf conditions and swell. Wind turbines are placed far out from the shore, widely placed and floating, making no difference to the surf onshore.

"Will housing prices be affected?"

Will offshore wind farms affect housing prices in the Hunter and Port Stephens? 

FACT: Extensive evidence shows that the development of Hunter offshore wind would have no impact on housing prices.

Various studies analysing offshore wind farms around the world have concluded that having an ocean view of wind turbines has no significant impact on property prices. For example, homes in Europe were found to be entirely unaffected.

In Denmark, which has had offshore wind for 30 years, a large scale study also found prices were unaffected. A study in the USA returned the same conclusion. 

"Is offshore wind  too expensive?"

Is offshore wind energy too expensive and unviable for the Hunter?


FACT: The scientific evidence shows that offshore wind is an incredibly cost-effective energy source. 

It’s worth remembering that private companies will not be motivated to seek development if Hunter offshore wind cannot produce energy at a commercially viable cost.

The development of offshore wind, like all energy infrastructure, requires significant investment dollars. Those big figures can look intimidating, but what’s truly important in assessing the cost of offshore wind is the LCOE (Levelised Cost of Energy)

Research by CSIRO into the LCOE of all available energy sources shows that not only is offshore wind cheaper than non-renewables, the cost of offshore wind will continue to drop significantly into the future while non-renewable energy remains the same real cost as today.

LCOE, or Levelised Cost of Energy, is a metric that calculates the average cost of generating electricity over the lifetime of a power plant, incorporating all costs and expected energy production. It enables a standardised comparison of the economic feasibility of different energy sources.

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