The developers of Australia’s first offshore wind farm have started environmental assessment process and referred the Star of the South project to state and federal planning and environment ministries.
The project’s developers – a joint venture between Australian founders and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) – have referred the project to the Victorian Minister for Planning to consider an Environment Effects Statement (EES), as well as to the Federal Minister for Environment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC).
The authorities will decide how to assess the project and will publish the referral documents on their websites, the developers said.
To build and operate the Star of the South, the developers will also need a commercial licence from the Commonwealth Government.
In November 2019, the Star of the South project partners signed a contract with California-headquartered infrastructure firm AECOM for support on the planning assessment and approvals processes.
RPS Group has been appointed to carry out environmental studies, including marine mammal and bird surveys to support the project’s offshore planning approvals.
Seabed investigations, marine wildlife and bird surveys have already begun.
Site investigations, in terms of wind profile and conditions, started in November 2019, when two floating LiDARs and a wave buoy were deployed at the project site.
Located is the Bass Strait, off the south coast of Victoria, Star of the South could comprise up to 250 turbines with a combined capacity of up to 2 GW.