The Star of the South Project is proposed to be situated in the seawaters off the south coast of Gippsland in Victoria. It is named after a ship which brought immigrants from England to the region in the 1850s hoping for a bright new future in Australia. This project of international, national and state significance aims to create a new era of innovation, energy transition and opportunity for the region and its people.
The Star of the South is in the feasibility phase and is being developed by the original Australian developers who founded the project in 2012 and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), one of the world’s leading offshore wind and infrastructure developers.
In March 2019, the project was granted an exploration licence by the Commonwealth Government to commence preparing for technical and environmental studies including wind monitoring and investigations into the seabed and the marine environment. Detailed community and stakeholder consultation will be undertaken before the studies commence.
If the Star of the South project is found to be feasible, it will power up to 1.2 million homes and create new employment and investment opportunities in Australia.
An Australian First
As Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm, the Star of the South has the potential to provide nearly 20 percent of Victoria’s current power supply, accelerating the country’s transition to renewable sources. The 2 GW (approx) large-scale project includes the installation of wind turbines in seawaters as well as submarine and underground connections to existing networks in the Latrobe Valley.
Confirming the Project’s Feasibility
As the lead consultant to Star of the South Wind Farm Pty Ltd, WSP has provided turnkey project management, environment, planning and engineering services for the project.
The project components include:
- Installation of wind turbine generators off the south coast of Gippsland, Victoria
- Submarine cable route from the wind farm perimeter to the Gippsland coast
- Underground cable route connecting in the Latrobe Valley
- Upgrades to existing ports to allow for the project’s construction, operation and maintenance.
To determine feasibility of the project, the following detailed studies continue:
- Measurement of the wind strength and conditions
- Environmental and planning studies on land and at sea
- Geotechnical surveys to understand more about the seabed
- Economic studies with a focus on the project’s supply chain needs
- Transmission and grid capacity studies
- Community and stakeholder engagement
Diversifying Australia’s Energy Mix
In the right conditions, offshore wind farms can produce higher and more consistent power than their onshore counterparts. While originally pioneered in Europe, offshore wind farms are now widespread in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the first project of its kind in Australia. Preliminary analysis indicates it has the right conditions for high and reliable energy production.