Australia’s First Offshore Wind Region Gets Green Light

The Australian government has approved the Bass Strait off the Gippsland coast as an offshore renewable energy zone.

Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen said the declaration was a crucial step towards affordable, reliable and secure energy and would lead to a number of new economic opportunities for the region.

Australia’s first and most progressed offshore wind project, Star of the South, welcomed the announcement, highlighting offshore wind as an essential technology to secure Australia’s clean energy future.

Star of the South Chief Executive Officer Charles Rattray said the declaration puts Gippsland on course to become the home of Australia’s offshore wind industry.

“With strong winds, existing grid infrastructure and a skilled workforce, Gippsland is ideally positioned to capitalise on the jobs and investment offshore wind will bring to the region,” he said.

“This announcement means greater certainty for the industry, local supply chains, and communities.”

“Offshore wind will play a critical role in Australia’s energy system going forward – it is pleasing to receive clarity from government on the boundaries for offshore wind projects, allowing us to take the next steps and continue investing in the region.”

The news comes as Star of the South is recognised as a project of national significance by the Australian Government, achieving Major Project Status. This decision acknowledges the project’s contribution to the Australian, Victorian and Gippsland economies and towards the nation’s net-zero plans.

Star of the South is one of around 25 projects across Australia with Major Project Status.

Rattray added that the Major Project Status will now help the project navigate government approvals processes spanning several departments and jurisdictions.

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