AUSTRALIA’S first offshore wind project is one step closer after the federal government this week introduced legislation to enable clean energy projects to be built and operated off Australia’s coast.

Star of the South said it welcomed the introduction of the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill, adding it supported the move by Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor and the federal government to create a local offshore wind industry.

“We will look at the Bill in detail to understand what it means for developing Star of the South off the coast of Gippsland,” Star of the South chief executive Casper Frost Thorhauge said.

“This legalisation is a key step to realising Australia’s offshore wind potential and unlocking the associated economic benefits, including providing opportunities for the nation’s strong resources and maritime sectors.

“We are excited to help create Australia’s offshore wind industry and continue Gippsland’s proud history of power generation into the future – supporting new local jobs and transitioning skills.”

Star of the South, in a statement this week, said: “This is a clear signal to the global offshore wind market that there is a strong appetite to establish a new industry in Australia – led by Star of the South in Gippsland.”

“Offshore wind represents a strong economic opportunity for Australia with modelling demonstrating an estimated 3000 direct jobs and more than $10 billion of wider economic benefits resulting from 2.2GW of offshore wind in Gippsland – primarily in regional Australia.”

Star of the South is working together with Gippsland’s energy leaders and representative bodies on opportunities for Latrobe Valley workers and businesses to participate in the region’s future offshore wind industry, “continuing Gippsland’s proud history of powering the nation with skilled workers”.

“Offshore wind can make the challenge of transitioning to a clean energy system more achievable – offsetting the loss of existing generation as it exits the market and building new generation close to load centres, reducing the need for significant new transmission infrastructure.”

Star of the South involves turbines in the sea and underground cables connecting to the Latrobe Valley.

To find out more, visit starofthesouth.com.au.