The developers of Australia’s first offshore wind project, called The Star of the South, have referred the scheme’s environmental effects statement (EES) to state and federal planning and environment ministers.
The move was welcomed by environment group Friends of the Earth, which puts emphasis on estimates indicating that the project would create some 2,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs during the construction process, along with 300 ongoing positions.
The project is majority-owned by Danish fund manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). In March 2019, The Star of the South obtained a licence to start technical and environmental studies off the south coast of Gippsland, Victoria.
According to the referral form, the project could lead to the installation of up to 400 turbines and as many as four substation platforms. The capital expenditure is estimated at between AUD 8 billion (USD 5.1bn/EUR 4.6bn) and AUD 10 billion.
“Building landmark renewable energy projects like Star of the South could be key to the post-Covid recovery effort, creating local jobs, bolstering domestic electricity supply while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” commented Pat Simons, who is a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth.
If the project proceeds to execution and is completed, it will result in a wind park with the capacity to produce enough power to supply up to 1.2 million households, which equals 18% of the state’s electricity consumption.