The government of Australia’s state of Victoria has welcomed plans for the establishment of the country’s first offshore wind farm in Gippsland.
The proposal includes up to 250 wind turbines within a 574-square kilometre area, which would deliver around 8,000GWh of electricity per year. This is approximately 18% of Victoria’s power usage or enough to power 1.2 million homes.
Victorian based Offshore Energy has been working with the Victorian and Commonwealth governments to progress the proposal to a formal feasibility assessment of the project called Star of the South which is expected to have the capacity of at least 2GW.
If successful, the project would generate investment of around AUD 8 billion, create 12,000 jobs during the construction phase and 300 ongoing operational and maintenance jobs, the government said.
The project would be located between 10 and 25 kilometres off the Gippsland coastline.
Preliminary analysis of the proposed site off the coast of Gippsland shows high-capacity for reliable power generation, the government said.
It is anticipated the project will have a feasibility phase of at least three years and if progressed would connect to existing infrastructure in the Latrobe Valley via undersea and underground transmission cables.
Offshore Energy has a memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments which, if the project receives the appropriate rights from the Commonwealth government to commence exploration activities, will assist with progressing the permitting process for this project.
If the project goes ahead, it is hoped the wind farm could be generating power in time to contribute to the government’s Renewable Energy Target of 40% by 2025.
“A new renewable power generator of this size would drive down electricity prices, and we’ll support Offshore Energy wherever we can to progress this study,” said Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.
“Offshore wind would add to Victoria’s system capacity and security as Australia transitions to a more diverse energy mix.”