Step For­ward For Pro­posed Off­shore Windfarm

trade a boat - - COMMERCIAL NEWS | THE BUSINESS END -

The Com­mon­wealth has ap­proved a deed of li­cence to al­low Off­shore En­ergy Pty Ltd (OEPL) to un­der­take re­source ex­plo­ration for an off­shore wind farm.

The five year li­cence will al­low OEPL to un­der­take ex­plo­ration in Com­mon­wealth wa­ters about eight to 13km off the Gippsland coast in Vic­to­ria. The off­shore wind sec­tor has grown rapidly in­ter­na­tion­ally, but there are no off­shore wind farms in Aus­tralia.

OEPL’S planned Star of the South wind farm in­volves in­stal­la­tion of wind tur­bines off the south coast of Gippsland, due south of towns such as Port Al­bert and Yar­ram, with sub­ma­rine ca­bles from the wind farm perime­ter to the Gippsland coast. It also an­tic­i­pates up­grades to ex­ist­ing ports to al­low for the farm’s con­struc­tion, op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance. The project has been in devel­op­ment since 2012.

Through the li­cence, OEPL will be al­lowed to un­der­take ac­tiv­i­ties to as­sess wind re­sources and sea bed con­di­tions to bet­ter un­der­stand whether an off­shore farm is tech­ni­cally fea­si­ble.

OEPL has not been given any rights to de­velop or op­er­ate an off­shore wind farm un­der this li­cence. The li­cence re­quires OEPL to un­der­take ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity and in­dus­try be­fore un­der­tak­ing any ac­tiv­i­ties.

“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,” said Star of the South CEO, Andy Evans.

“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.”

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