Offshore windfarm proposed for Kingston

APPLICATION: The proposed location of the windfarm project. PHOTO: Web
APPLICATION: The proposed location of the windfarm project. PHOTO: Web

A wind farm established offshore near Kingston could bring the region better facility, employment and tourism opportunities.

SA Offshore Windfarm has lodged an application for Impact Assessment to the South Australian Government, and a referral to the Commonwealth under the respective environmental legislation, for its proposed project.

Kingston District Council has welcomed the news of the potential multi-billion dollar enterprise.

Chief executive officer Nat Traeger said council would take the opportunity to explore any potential economic windfall from the project.

"For us it will be around what kind of tourist amenities or facilities we might get out of it - whether or not it's vessel or charter or air tours, there will be a high level of interest in it," she said..

"It's no secret that the Kingston district struggles with a very small rate payer base and a lot of coastal issues.

"Currently we have no boat ramp, so this being offshore there is no doubt the developer will need access to our coastal infrastructure to launch vessels, so we are hoping that we will need to see an increase in services, which we can partner with the developer or the state or federal government.

"For $1.75 billion of development, we wouldn't have the services of infrastructure to support that, so we are sort of hoping that if the project goes ahead we will be able to get a bit of a leg up addressing some of our coastal issues.

Employment opportunities will escalate if the project goes ahead, with hundreds of positions which will need to be filled.

"We've been told there will be 800 jobs in the build phase and once it is up and running 100 jobs ongoing - that impact on our community and economic viability is huge," Ms Traeger said.

"We will be happy to work with them and unless there is some debilitating environmental impacts, I can only see the council being supportive."

The project is still at an early stage but, subject to planning and environmental approval, the company hopes to commence construction in summer 2024/25 and be generating electricity in 2027.

The application was for a windfarm to be built about 10 kilometres off the coast from Kingston, close to existing infrastructure that would enable effective connection to South Australia's electrical grid.

If constructed, the project will comprise up to 75 offshore wind turbine generators with supporting offshore and onshore electrical assets to safely transfer energy to the existing electricity network, have a generation capacity of up to 600MW - enough to power over 400,000 homes - and will create up to 100 permanent jobs.

Chairman of parent company Australis, Mark Petterson, said the company was delighted to have reached a milestone in the project.

"We look forward to working with the South Australian Government as we progress the project through the environmental approvals process," he said.

"Subject to the necessary consents and permits being obtained, the project will have a renewable electricity generation capacity of up to 600 MW, enough to power over 400,000 South Australian homes.

"The electricity generated by the proposed offshore windfarm will support the South Australian Government's target of 100 per cent renewables by 2030."

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