Two Co-Founders of Australia’s First Offshore Wind Farm Eye Building 4 Floating Wind Projects

A company founded in 2020 by two of the co-founders of the Star of the South, Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm, is planning to build five offshore wind projects in the country and three in New Zealand.

Oceanex Energy, which says on its website that it is “progressing the development and construction” of up to five wind farms off the coast of Australia, is owned by Andy Evans and Peter Sgardelis, two of the co-founders of the Star of the South, and an unnamed international investor for which Oceanex states has significant experience in infrastructure development and construction and leading advisory experience in offshore wind. 

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Of the five Australian projects, which are currently in the feasibility study phase, Oceanex plans to utilise floating wind technology on four of them. The three offshore wind farms the company plans for New Zealand are in pre-feasibility phase and will also use both floating and bottom-fixed foundations.

In New South Wales, the company is developing four floating wind projects: Novocastrian off Newcastle, Illawarra in Wollongong, Ulladulla, and Eden. The bottom-fixed offshore wind farm is planned to be installed in Bunbury, Western Australia.

Each of the projects is planned to have an installed capacity of 2 GW and feature 15 MW wind turbines, and all of them are planned to be up and running in early to mid-2030s.

All of the (floating) offshore wind farms would be built more than 20 kilometres from the coastline, just like those Oceanex plans to build offshore New Zealand, where waters offshore Taranaki and Waikato are the favoured locations.

Both regions have been chosen to access the strong winds at sea to generate electricity that will be transmitted subsea and underground to existing grid connection points on the North Island with capacity and availability at the time the wind farms start generating electricity from the early 2030s, Oceanex says.

The New Zealand wind farms would also use 15 MW wind turbines, but the projects would have an installed capacity of 1 GW each.

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Photo: Oceanex Energy