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The research to assess seabed conditions for the proposed Star of the South offshore wind project off the Gippsland coast of Victoria, Australia, has begun.
During May 2023, a specialist vessel and crew will collect soil and rock samples from 70m beneath the seafloor.
The crew will also collect samples from 22 places inside the project’s 2019 exploration licence area.
The investigation’s findings will aid in the development of a design for the proposed offshore wind energy plant that will be optimal for local bottom conditions.
“This will be the first marine geotechnical campaign in Australia for offshore wind energy – which is a huge achievement for Victoria as it makes the transition from coal to renewables.” said Victoria’s energy and resources minister Lily D’Ambrosio.
Victoria’s government has invested A$19.5 million ($12.8 million) on the probe. This is for pre-construction work on a wind project funded by the energy innovation fund.
The Star of the South offshore wind farm will be Australia’s first. Victoria will also lead the country in wind energy capacity ambitions of at least 2GW by 2032, 4GW by 2035, and 9GW by 2040.
With its own zero-emissions objective set for 2045, the state hopes to pave the way for the country’s net zero aspirations.
“Offshore wind energy will play a critical role in helping Victoria to achieve its target of net zero emissions by 2045, and Gippsland will be at the centre of this transformation.” said Tom McIntosh, member of the Eastern Victoria legislative council.