Star of the South Subsea Surveys to Begin in February

A bathymetric and geophysical site survey is scheduled to commence at Star of the South, Australia’s first offshore wind project, at the end of February.

According to the project’s latest Notice to Mariners, the MV Silver Star survey vessel will carry out the work from 28 February to 13 March at the site offshore Gippsland to inform the project’s feasibility.

Survey activities will comprise geophysical data acquisition using a side-scan sonar, single and multi-beam echo-sounders, sub-bottom profiler, magnetometer/gradiometer and underwater video.

Operations will be conducted on a 24-hour basis and will be undertaken out of Lakes Entrance Port.

Star of the South is also preparing for a passive acoustic monitoring program for vocalizing marine mammals, which will involve the placement of underwater acoustic recorders on the seabed.

The loggers will be deployed from 10 to 11 February, with maintenance scheduled from 8 to 11 July.

Eight subsea passive acoustic monitoring recorders, and their associated moorings, will sit on the seabed until the recovery planned in mid-December.

Survey activities will include placing a tracking grid of acoustic instruments with hydrophones and the use of a once a day ping sequence from an acoustic release in the triangle center.

Star of the South could comprise up to 250 turbines with a combined capacity of up to 2GW. If given the go-ahead, construction could start in 2020.

The project is a joint development by Australia’s Offshore Energy and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

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