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The Project

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The project will have an installed capacity of up to 2,000MW and involves the following main components:

  • Installation of wind turbine generators 10 to 25 kilometres off the south coast of Gippsland, due south of towns such as Port Albert and Yarram, amongst other towns.
  • Approximately 25 kilometres of submarine cable route from the wind farm perimeter to the Gippsland coast.
  • Approximately 70 kilometres of underground cable route connecting in the Latrobe Valley for further distribution into the National Electricity Market.
  • Upgrades to existing ports to allow for the Star of the South’s construction, operation and maintenance.

Offshore wind is a well proven method of generating electricity with offshore wind projects installed across Europe with reliable and sustainable energy for more than 20 years and being adopted recently in regions such as Asia and North America.

As this is the first project of its kind in Australia, the Star of the South project team is currently conducting a range of studies to confirm its feasibility.

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

Key Facts

  • Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm
  • Wind turbine generators located 10 to 25 kilometres off the south coast of Gippsland, transmitting electricity into a connection point in the Latrobe Valley for distribution to the market
  • Capacity to power an estimated 1.2 million 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:

  • Could generate up to an estimated 8,000GWh of electricity per year. This would provide a reliable energy source for Victoria, providing power for up to 1.2 million homes.
  • Create a valuable source of clean energy, assisting the transition from existing energy sources, decreasing carbon emissions and providing a reliable energy source.
  • Has the potential to avoid up to 10,500,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions each year and an estimated saving of 12,500 million litres of water.
  • Would contribute towards Victoria and Australia meeting their local, national and international climate change targets.
  • Would drive investment and create new opportunities for Gippsland, the Latrobe Valley and Victoria.
  • During construction, create numerous direct construction jobs and indirect jobs as well as numerous local permanent jobs during its operation and maintenance period (over a minimum 25-year lifespan).

The Star of the South Project is a first for Victoria, Australia and the southern hemisphere. The project team is investigating the potential to create a new ‘innovation hub’ for offshore wind in Gippsland and Latrobe Valley to support the project and other potential opportunities.

The project location was selected, amongst other reasons, to utilise available transmission and grid capacity in the Latrobe Valley, helping to make the most of Victoria’s existing infrastructure.

Timing and progress

Detailed studies have already been undertaken and more planned to assess the feasibility of building and operating the project. The feasibility process will include:

  • 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 Victorian and Commonwealth Government planning approval processes, which is an essential step for any major project.

If the project is found to be feasible and subject to government approval, construction could commence in 2022.

The construction of the project to its full capacity would take approximately six to eight years, and would be undertaken in stages, with electricity generation increasing at each stage.