In a new proposal by Offshore Energy, Gippsland has been identified as the potential location for Australia’s first offshore wind farm.
The proposal includes up to 250 wind turbines within a 574-square kilometre area, which would deliver around 8,000GWh of electricity per year. This is approximately 18 per cent of Victoria’s power usage or enough to power 1.2 million homes.
Victorian based Offshore Energy has been working with the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments to progress the proposal to a formal feasibility assessment of the project called ‘Star of the South’.
If successful, the project would generate investment of around $8 billion, create 12,000 jobs during the construction phase, and 300 ongoing operational and maintenance jobs.
Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing, said,“This is an incredibly exciting proposal that has the potential to be a real game-changer in Gippsland – not only in terms of power generation, but also for local jobs and economic growth.”
The project would be located between ten and 25km off the Gippsland coastline.
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, and if progressed would connect to existing infrastructure in the Latrobe Valley via undersea and underground transmission cables.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “A new renewable power generator of this size would drive down electricity prices, and we’ll support Offshore Energy wherever we can to progress this study.”
“Offshore wind would add to Victoria’s system capacity and security as Australia transitions to a more diverse energy mix.”
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, will assist with progressing the permitting process for this project.
If the project goes ahead, it is hoped the wind farm could be generating power in time to contribute to the Victorian Government’s Renewable Energy Target of 40 per cent by 2025.