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Plans to build a $1 billion, 300MW offshore wind farm in Western Australian waters around 140km south of Perth, and have it generating electricity by the summer of 2026, have been submitted for state environmental approval.

The project was referred to the WA Environmental Protection Authority this week by Australis Energy, a UK-based offshore wind farm developer that is currently focusing on opportunities in Australia, including projects proposed for state waters in Victoria and South Australia.

Fully-owned Australis subsidiary WA Offshore Windfarm Pty Ptd proposes to install between 20 and 37 wind turbines around 5.5km off the coast between Preston Beach and Myalup, north of Bunbury.

In a 60-page supporting document submitted to the EPA, the company said the preferred turbine size for the project would be 15MW, which would mean only 20 turbines would be required, resulting in less construction and reduced visual impact.

The proposal notes that the turbines would all be located in Western Australian coastal waters – as would also be the case for the proposed SA and Victoria projects. This differs from the massive Star of the South project currently being proposed for Victoria, which is planned for Commonwealth waters and thus requires federal government approvals.

The Australis project is the second offshore wind farm to be proposed for Western Australia, with oil and gas explorer Pilot Energy last year announcing a feasibility study into a massive 1,100MW project, that would install some of the world’s largest offshore wind turbines in waters previously earmarked for oil and gas exploration.

[Sophie Vorrath]

More: UK developer proposes $1 billion offshore wind farm for Western Australia waters

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