Australia’s Victoria state has received a proposal from Offshore Energy for the construction of a 250 turbine offshore wind farm near Gippsland.
The proposed wind farm could be developed in an area spanning 574km2 and the project could produce about 8000GWh of clean energy per year. This is about 18% of the state’s power usage or 1.2 million homes.
Victoria based firm Offshore Energy has been working with the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments on the proposal to conduct a formal feasibility assessment for the project called ‘Star of the South’.
If successful, the project could see an investment of A$8bn (about $6bn), while creating about 12,000 jobs during the construction phase and 300 operational and maintenance jobs. The project could be located 10 to 25km off of the Gippsland coastline.
According to Victorian government preliminary analysis indicated that the area near the Gippsland has high potential for reliable power generation. The project could have an initial feasibility phase of three years and if successful, it would be connected to the existing infrastructure in the Latrobe Valley using underwater and underground transmission cables.
If everything goes according to plan, the wind farm will be in time to add to the Victorian government’s renewable energy target of 40% by 2025.
Victoria Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said: “A new renewable power generator of this size would drive down electricity prices, and we’ll support Offshore Energy wherever we can to progress this study.”
“Offshore wind would add to Victoria’s system capacity and security as Australia transitions to a more diverse energy mix.”
Eastern Victoria Member Harriet Shing said: “This is an incredibly exciting proposal that has the potential to be a real game-changer in Gippsland – not only in terms of power generation, but also for local jobs and economic growth.”