CIP debuts in Australian offshore wind

The $6.12bn, 2GW co-development with local developer Offshore Energy has potential to deliver about 18% of the Victorian state’s power usage.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has teamed up with Offshore Energy to co-develop Australia’s first offshore wind farm, the Star of the South.

The Danish fund manager is investing through its fund Copenhagen Infrastructure III vehicle in the wind farm, which sits between 10 and 25 kilometres off the south coast of Gippsland, eastern Victoria with a total expected capacity of up to 2GW. It has a total investment value of approximately A$8 billion ($6.12 billion; €5.16 billion).

“Star of the South offers a unique opportunity within offshore wind in a new market,” said Torsten Lodberg Smed, CIP’s senior partner.

The project was proposed this June and has so far been developed solely by Offshore Energy, a Victoria-based offshore wind developer. Further development will be undertaken jointly by the partnership, CIP noted.

Offshore Energy said in June that the development is expected to have a feasibility phase of at least three years. It said preliminary analysis of the proposed site has shown high capacity for reliable power generation.

The site covers an area of 574 square kilometers in the commonwealth waters off the coast of Gippsland. It will feature up to 250 turbines and will connect to existing infrastructure in the Latrobe Valley through undersea and underground transmission cables.

The project is expected to deliver around 8,000GWh of electricity per year, which accounts for approximately 18 percent of Victoria’s power usage, or an equivalent usage of 1.2 million homes.

The debut in Australia came as CIP hired Michael Hannibal, whom the firm described as “one of the pioneers” of the offshore wind industry, as a new partner. The fund manager also opened an outpost in Taiwan in early October to scale up its offshore wind portfolio on the island.