Star of the South outline consenting schedule

In: Windfarms
Star of the South are progressing with plans for Australia's first offshore wind farm. Located 7-25 km off the south coast of Gippsland, Victoria, the project will have a capacity of up to 2.2 GW.

The Victorian-based Star of the South team are developing the project with international experience and investment from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

An exploration license was granted in March 2019 to undertake necessary technical and environmental studies. The Developer are now working towards completing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Australian Government and an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) for the State of Victoria. A separate license will also be sought from the Australian government to construct, operate and decommission the wind farm.

Scoping is for the environment assessments are underway. The relevant authorities are expected to publish a Scoping Opinion in the coming months. The EIS and EES will be prepared between 2021 and 2022. Public review and submissions of the EIS and EES will take place in 2023 and a decision at Federal level from the Minister for the Environment and at State level from the Minister for Planning is expected 2024.

Star of the South foresee starting construction middle of the decade with full commissioning by the end of the decade.

The project is likely to be influenced by new legislation for developing offshore renewables. The Australian Government are working on an 'offshore renewable energy infrastructure' Bill. In early 2020 a discussion paper was released for consultation. Over 40 submissions from industry, researchers and the community were received. Around 250 people attended public consultation workshops in Perth and Melbourne.

According to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources timing for approval of the new framework is dependent on a number of legislative and parliamentary processes. A spokesperson commented:

"We are working to have the framework operational as soon as practicable".

"There will be further formal opportunities for consultation on the detailed aspects of the framework later this year, once the keylegislative settings are in place after passage of the bill."

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