Most Advanced Offshore Wind Project in Australia Gets State Funding

Star of the South, Australia’s first offshore wind project, has entered a AUD 43.1 million (around EUR 27.7 million) partnership with the Victorian government to progress key development activities and kick-start a local offshore wind industry.

This partnership will see the Star of the South invest AUD 23.6 million and the Victorian Government contribute AUD 19.5 million to co-fund the pre-construction development activities, with knowledge being shared to support the creation of an exciting new offshore wind sector in Victoria.

The boost will allow Star of the South to continue investing in site investigations in Gippsland, including onshore and offshore geotechnical investigations, transmission design, industry development, and ongoing community and stakeholder engagement, the developer said.

”This is an important step forward for offshore wind in Australia – this partnership will enable us to keep investing where its most needed, while ensuring benefits for government and the community through knowledge-sharing,” Star of the South CEO Casper Frost Thorhauge said.

”Governments around the world are looking to offshore wind to power their energy systems into the future and Victoria is leading the way – attracting investment and creating jobs for workers in the regions.”

Located off Gippsland’s south coast, Star of the South would harness Bass Strait’s strong offshore winds with up to 200 turbines in the sea, connecting to the grid in the Latrobe Valley.

If the project is feasible and proceeds to construction, it would support Victoria to meet its emissions reduction targets by powering up to 1.2 million Victorian homes with clean energy. The project would provide jobs for energy workers with the potential to create 2,000 direct Victorian jobs, and 200 ongoing local jobs once it’s up and running.

If built to its full capacity, Star of the South would generate up to 2.2 GW of clean energy, providing around 20 per cent of Victoria’s energy needs. The project is jointly owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Australian Founders – Terry Kallis, Andy Evans and Peter Sgardelis.

Investigations at sea commenced in 2019 after the project was granted an Exploration Licence from the Commonwealth Government.

The project is in the feasibility phase with environmental assessments currently underway to support planning and approvals. If Star of the South is approved and proceeds to construction, the project could start construction as early as 2025 with full power toward the end of the decade.

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Photo: Star of the South/Illustration