Plans for Australia's first offshore windfarm are being progressed by Victorian company Offshore Energy and the Victorian and Commonwealth governments.
The proposal includes up to 250 wind turbines within a 574-square kilometre area, to be located between 10 and 25 kilometres off the Gippsland coastline near Port Albert, which would deliver around 8,000GWh of electricity per year, approximately 18% of Victoria’s power usage. Offshore Energy estimates the project would reduce carbon emissions by about 10.5 million tonnes per year.
If successful, the project, called ‘Star of the South’ , would generate investment of around $8 billion, create 12,000 jobs during the construction phase and 300 ongoing operational and maintenance jobs. It would connect existing infrastructure in the Latrobe Valley via undersea and underground transmission cables.
Preliminary analysis of the proposed site off the coast of Gippsland shows high-capacity for reliable power generation.
It’s anticipated the project will have a feasibility phase of at least three years.
Offshore Energy has a memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments which, if the project receives the appropriate rights from the Commonwealth Government to commence exploration activities in Commonwealth waters, will assist with progressing the permitting process for the project.
If the project goes ahead, it is hoped the windfarm could be generating power by 2025.