2019-12-11
http://w3.windfair.net/wind-energy/news/32046-australia-star-of-the-south-offshore-wind-farm-developer-atlas-professionals-study-coast-government

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Wind Industry Profile of


Star of the South in Australia

While Down Under is currently working on the largest onshore wind farm in the southern hemisphere, the offshore industry is also moving increasingly into focus. The first offshore wind farm in the southern hemisphere is to be built off the coast of Victoria. The name: Star of the South.

Australia is a trending wind power market. Latest figures of GWEC's  'Global Wind Report'  as well as researches of the Australian National University (ANU), which attest to the country's ability to achieve the target of 50 percent renewable energies in the electricity mix by 2024, prove this.

Although the respective federal governments in Australia often don't take a positive view of renewable energies, the market for renewable electricity has grown explosively in recent years. This is primarily due to initiatives of the individual states and territories, above all Victoria in the southeast of the country.

Now that large-scale solar and onshore wind turbines have become part of everyday life, the authorities have been showing strong interest in offshore wind energy for some time. At the end of March, the Commonwealth government granted the planned 'Star of the South' wind project an exclusive license to investigate the technical feasibility of building wind turbines in the sea off the south coast of Gippsland.

The name of the project, Star of the South, is derived from a ship that in the 1850s brought immigrants from England to the Gippsland region and gave hope for a bright new future to the many passengers who travelled with it. Like the ship of the same name, the project is intended to create a new era of opportunity for the Gippsland and Latrobe Valley regions and their inhabitants.

At the southeast coast of Australia the 'Star of the South' shall shine (Image: Star of the South)

The offshore wind project is planned in a 496 square kilometre area of the Bass Strait off the south coast of Gippsland. Initial studies assume a capacity of up to 2.2 gigawatts of wind energy, which would mean green electricity for 1.2 million households in the federal state of Victoria.

The original planning for the wind farm has been underway since 2012. Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), a highly experienced offshore wind and infrastructure developer, has now been brought on board to make decisive progress with the project.

Andy Evans, CEO of Project Developer Star of the South, was relieved to take the next step: "We’re excited to start the next phase of our work – we’ve done a lot of background studies and look forward to getting out there and further understanding the marine environment. While it’s still early days for the project, these crucial investigations will help us move forward and understand how we might progress an offshore wind project in Australia."

Vision of a better future: Star of the South could provide for 18% of Victoria's electricity consumption (Image: Pixabay)

The feasibility phase is currently underway and will be accompanied by various studies, such as the use of wind gauges to confirm wind strength and conditions at the intended site, environmental and planning studies on land and sea, geotechnical studies of the seabed and economic studies focusing on the needs of the project's supply chain.

In line with this, the planners also secured the services of Atlas Professionals, a leading international HR service provider. Together with the project planner, a market study is now to be carried out on the availability of the required workforce. In addition, the report will focus on the requirements for special ships during the development, construction and maintenance phases of the project. These requirements will be analysed on the basis of availability of vessels (existing and new) and competition for special vessels with other future offshore projects in Australia and the wider region.

Established in 1982, Atlas Professionals plays an important global role in the provision of skilled personnel for the energy, marine and renewable energy industries. It was not until early 2019 that its renewable energy services were extended to the APAC region. This makes the current order all the more gratifying.

Atlas Professionals has a large network and is involved in offshore projects worldwide (Image: Atlas Professionals)

Edgare Kerkwijk, Strategic Director Renewables APAC at Atlas Professionals is enthusiastic about the collaboration: "We are excited to work together with Star of the South and be part of the development of Australia’s first offshore wind project. Since starting our renewable energy activities earlier this year, we have managed to get engagements in Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Japan. This is evidence that the regional offshore wind market is growing rapidly and the need for skilled manpower is growing equally fast."

Author:
Katrin Radtke
Email:
press@windfair.net
Keywords:
Australia, Star of the South, offshore, wind farm, developer, Atlas Professionals, study, coast, government



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