Star of the South is set to start detailed ground investigations along the project’s proposed transmission route on 4 April, shortly after completing two years of marine environmental surveys in Bass Strait, where the offshore wind farm is planned to be built.
Investigations at approximately 180 sites will take two to three months and will be performed by engineering consultants Douglas Partners, who will be supported by a Gippsland business which will supply excavators and haulage equipment.
The investigations will collect and test soil and rock samples to better understand local ground conditions, and the data will inform the design of the 75-kilometre private underground transmission system that will connect the Star of the South offshore wind farm to the Latrobe Valley.
The Victorian Government is co-funding the ground investigations following an agreement Star of the South and the Government entered in November 2021, under which AUD 43.1 million (around EUR 27.7 million) have been granted to the project to progress key development activities and kick-start a local offshore wind industry.
At the beginning of March, the Victorian Government announced a plan to build up to 9 GW of offshore wind by 2040 and to have first offshore wind-generated electricity flow in 2028.
The up to 2.2 GW Star of the South is the first and most progressed offshore wind project in Victoria and is being developed to deliver clean energy to the grid by 2028, according to its developers, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Australian Founders – Terry Kallis, Andy Evans and Peter Sgardelis.
Last month, Star of the South also completed two years of detailed marine environmental surveys.
On 25 March, the developers informed that more than 13,000 hours were spent collecting data by boat, plane, on foot, and with underwater cameras and sound monitors, in Bass Strait and on local islands, to help plan Australia’s first offshore wind farm.
Specialists are now analysing the survey data and developing reports, which will be made publicly available through the project’s environmental impact assessment process, expected in 2023.
Results will inform the project design, construction and approvals, so the project is developed in an environmentally responsible way to generate clean electricity for up to 1.2 million Victorians and reduce carbon emissions, Star of the South said.
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