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The Project

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Offshore wind is a proven method of generating electricity, with offshore wind projects installed across Europe producing reliable and sustainable energy over the last 20-plus years. Asia and North America have also more recently adopted offshore wind energy production.

The Star of the South project involves the following main components:

  • Wind turbines and offshore substations in the ocean off the south coast of Gippsland.
  • Submarine cables from the wind farm perimeter to the Gippsland coast.
  • A transmission network of cables and substations connecting to the Latrobe Valley.

Upgrades to ports to allow for construction, operation and maintenance may also be required.

The project is in the feasibility stage.

In March 2019, the Australian Government granted Star of the South an exploration licence, allowing the project team to carry out a range of site investigations. These investigations will assess local wind, seabed and environmental conditions and will help to confirm if the project can go ahead.

A decision to construct the project will be made at a later stage, subject to Australian and Victorian Government approvals.

Key Facts

  • Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm
  • Wind turbines off the south coast of Gippsland, transmitting electricity into a connection point in the Latrobe Valley for distribution to the market
  • Capacity to power hundreds of thousands of Victorian homes
  • Potential for numerous jobs during construction and ongoing long-term permanent jobs during operation to be created
  • A sustainable, reliable and clean source of energy for Victoria and Australia.

Benefits

The Star of the South is a new frontier for Australia that would provide many benefits for local communities, Victoria and Australia for years to come. Based on initial investigations, the project would:

  • have the capacity to generate enough energy to power hundreds of thousands of homes
  • create a valuable source of clean energy, assisting the transition from existing energy sources, decreasing carbon emissions and providing a reliable energy source.
  • contribute towards Victoria and Australia meeting their local, national and international climate change targets
  • drive investment and create new opportunities for Gippsland, the Latrobe Valley and Victoria.
  • create numerous direct construction jobs and indirect jobs as well as numerous local permanent jobs during its operation and maintenance period.

Based on our observations to date, the south coast of Gippsland is a great location for offshore wind due to strong and consistent winds, relatively low water depths and access to ports. A major advantage is that there is plenty of capacity in the existing electrical transmission network in the Latrobe Valley, meaning we can help to make the most of Victoria’s existing infrastructure.

Timing and progress

Detailed studies have already been undertaken and more are commencing in the second half of 2019, to assess the feasibility of building and operating the project. This includes:

  • deploying wind measuring equipment to confirm the wind strength and conditions in the proposed location
  • environmental and planning studies both on land and at sea.
  • geotechnical surveys to understand more about the sea bed.
  • economic studies with a focus on the project’s supply chain needs, including identifying opportunities for local industry.
  • undertaking transmission and grid capacity studies to confirm the suitability for transmission of electricity to distribution points in the Victorian grid.
  • community and stakeholder engagement to understand local needs and perspectives.

Throughout the feasibility phase, the project will progress through government planning approval processes, which is an essential step for any major project.


Exploration Licence

The Star of the South operates under an exclusive exploration licence, which was approved by the Commonwealth Government on 29 March 2019. The licence is for exploration activities only and is valid for five years, with a possible extension of two years.

We are currently preparing for detailed studies and data collection out at sea within a 496km2 area of Bass Strait, off the south coast of Gippsland.

We'll be out in the community in September 2019 - find out more about how you can share your feedback.

We look forward to hearing from local communities and stakeholders about the project and we are committed to keeping people informed of our progress as we explore the possibility of Australia’s first offshore wind project.

Please contact us if you have any questions about our activities or the project in general.