Offshore Wind is One Step Closer

Douglas Partners principal Greg Anderson and Star of the South's chief development officer Erin Coldham.Photo: Contributed

A local offshore wind project is entering the next phase of development, with ground investigations set to begin on a proposed transmission route this week.

The Star of the South consortium will be investigating approximately 180 sites across Gippsland, collecting and testing soil and rock samples to better understand ground conditions.

The work will be undertaken by engineering consultants Douglas Partners, with the assistance of Golden Beach business Kiernan Haulage.

Star of the South chief development officer Erin Coldham said that it was exciting to see the project’s momentum growing.

“These ground investigations are a crucial part of mapping out the transmission of power from our turbines to the homes of Victorians,” Ms Coldham said.

“Understanding local ground conditions is an important part of designing a safe and efficient underground transmission system.”

Douglas Partners principal Greg Anderson is also pleased to be involved with the project.

“It is really exciting for our team to be involved in a project that aligns so closely with what is important to us while also bringing benefits to our community,” Mr Anderson said.

“We are looking forward to working within the diverse landscapes and geology across Gippsland and working with the people who live and work there.”

The proposed route of the underground transmission cables will begin at Reeves Beach, continuing through Darriman, Giffard West and Hiamdale before connecting with the Victorian energy grid in the Latrobe Valley.

Star of the South said that it has been working with the authorities, Traditional Owners and landholders to plan the investigations, which it does not expect to cause noise, traffic or other disruption to nearby residents.

The offshore wind project was first announced in 2017, and has received bi-partisan support at both state and federal levels of government.

Project developers recently completed two years of marine environmental surveys in the Bass Strait, undertaken in partnership with the CSIRO.

Once built, the proposed wind farm will be the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, consisting of 200 turbines over an area of 420km2.

It is estimated that the wind farm will generate up to 2.2GW of electricity, enough to provide 20 per cent of Victoria’s electricity needs and power 1.2 million homes.

Construction on the wind farm is expected to begin mid-decade, with an anticipated completion date of 2028.