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Investigations begin for Aus offshore wind

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 28/04/2023 Star of the South

Investigations to test seabed conditions off the Gippsland coast start for Australia’s offshore wind project -
Star of the South.

Star of the South is a 2.2 GW offshore wind project with potential to supply around 20% of Victoria’s energy needs and create up to 2,000 direct new jobs in Victoria. Star of the South is powered with investment and backing from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, which is on track to deploy EUR 100 billion equity into renewables by 2030. These investigations are co-funded with the Victorian Government through the Energy Innovation Fund.

Geo data specialist, Fugro, has been awarded a contract to perform an offshore geotechnical site investigation and spend five weeks at sea collecting soil and rock samples from up to 70 metres beneath the seabed. This is the first ever marine geotechnical campaign in Australia for offshore wind, with study findings to be used to design the proposed wind farm to suit local seabed conditions. Fugro will utilise their vessel, Fugro Mariner, for the investigations.

Star of the South Chief Executive Officer, Charles Rattray, said the seabed studies follow four years of engineering and environmental investigations on the project: “These investigations will collect critical data to drive progress on the project and bring us another step closer to bringing offshore wind energy into the grid this decade. Knowing what’s under the seabed in this specific location helps ensure everything we do – from turbine design and placement through to construction methods – is tailored especially for this spot in Bass Strait."

The investigations will collect samples from 22 locations within the project’s 2019 Exploration Licence area over five weeks, starting from late April 2023. Fugro Australia will manage the investigations for Star of the South, using their specialist geotechnical drill vessel the Fugro Mariner.

Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio welcomed the investigations as a critical next step in delivering a thriving offshore wind sector: “Victoria is leading the country in delivering offshore wind energy with our ambitious targets and significant investment. These important investigations bring us another step closer to unlocking this enormous industry – creating thousands of jobs and driving billions of dollars of investment”.

Fishing and recreational boats can continue using the area while investigations are underway, keeping a safe distance from the Fugro Mariner.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.


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