THE FEDERAL Government has approved Australia’s first proposed offshore wind project, with technical and environmental studies to begin off the south coast of Gippsland.
The approval marks a major milestone for the Star of the South project. The unique exploration licence officially paves the way for a range of studies to take place, including wind monitoring and investigations into the seabed and the marine environment.
The company said detailed community and stakeholder consultation will be undertaken before any studies commence. The company said that if the project was found to be feasible it would offer a clean and reliable energy solution with the potential to power up to 1.2 million homes, while creating new employment and investment opportunities in Australia. The Star of the South project is formed by local Australian developers along with leading offshore wind developer and investor, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).
“We’re excited to start the next phase of our work – we’ve done a lot of background studies and look forward to getting out there and further understanding the marine environment,” Star of the South CEO, Andy Evans said.
“While it’s still early days for the project, these crucial investigations will help us move forward and understand how we might progress an offshore wind project in Australia.
“We look forward to working with government, stakeholders and local communities in Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley throughout our investigations.” Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ (CIP) Michael Hannibal said the company was welcoming the government decision to grant the approval.