Australia’s first offshore wind project is one step closer thanks to the government introducing legislation to enable clean energy projects to be built and operated off the coast of the country
The companies behind one of the projects that could now be built off the coast of Australia, Star of the South, said they welcomed the introduction of the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill and support the Australian Government’s move to create an offshore wind industry.
The Bill helps pave the way for the up to 2.2-GW project off the coast of the Gippsland, which would harness Bass Strait’s strong offshore wind.
Star of the South said it will consider the detail of the Bill over the coming days but is pleased with the government’s strong commitment to work with industry to reduce regulatory barriers, enabling ongoing investment from the project’s partners Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
The company said the Bill is “a clear signal to the global offshore wind market that there is a strong appetite to establish a new industry in Australia.”
Star of the South chief executive Casper Frost Thorhauge said, “We welcome the introduction of the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill to the Australian Parliament and acknowledge the work of Minister Taylor and the Commonwealth Government in prioritising this important legislation.
“We will look at the Bill in detail to understand what it means for developing Star of the South off the coast of Gippsland. The legalisation is a key step to realising Australia’s offshore wind potential and unlocking the associated economic benefits, including providing opportunities for the nation’s strong resources and maritime sectors. We are excited to help create Australia’s offshore wind industry and continue Gippsland’s proud history of power generation into the future – supporting new local jobs and transitioning skills.”
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners partner Michael Hannibal said, “We are pleased to see the regulatory framework to build and operate offshore windfarms in Australia take an important next step.
”The Australian Government has shown leadership in removing barriers to investment in technology that will reduce emissions, create regional jobs and provide affordable and reliable power to Australians. We look forward to the legislation being passed and thank the Australian Government for its support to develop a new offshore wind market.”
Star of the South could now become Australia’s first offshore wind project. The project is in the feasibility phase with environmental assessments currently underway to support planning and approvals. If Star of the South is approved and proceeds to construction, works could start by the mid-2020s with full power before the end of the decade.
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