All 06 Mar 2023

Kingston Offshore Windfarm – Newsletter 1

Skyborn Renewables is developing the Kingston Offshore Windfarm project located near Kingston SE. The project would have a capacity of 400-600 MW in the State Waters and a possible +1 GW extension further from the shore, in Commonwealth waters.  
Project News
The first community information day was held in mid-December 2022 in Kingston Townhall. Firstly, the project team would like to say thank you to everyone who attended the drop-in session. We learned a lot from the feedback, questions and insights the community members, stakeholders and residents shared. For those who were unable to make it in December, we will be continuing our program of community engagement as the project develops further and will also seek to utilise different mediums such as webinars and focus groups, in addition to drop-in sessions, to increase our reach, accessibility and opportunities to engage. The project team is currently focused on continuing its work with State and Commonwealth government departments and independent advisors, to progress working through study requirements for the project. As the development of the project is progressing, we will be keeping the community updated .
Project FAQs received from our recent community drop-in session
The following FAQ provides further feedback to the most common questions received during the December community session. The list is not comprehensive, and we invite you to contact us for any questions at any stage of the project. More frequently asked questions can also be find in FAQs - Kingston Offshore Windfarm.
Would boating and fishing be excluded from the wind farm project area?
No. The turbines are typically spaced at around 1 km intervals and are expected to take up less than 1% of the total project area. This provides room for many vessels to navigate through the array including most commercial and recreational fishing vessels, and leisure craft. During construction there may be temporary restrictions on navigation around individual turbines especially where cranes are operating. During operations a reasonable safety zone of around 50 m may be requested around turbines. We are working with regulators to ensure that any safety zones are reasonable and do not go further than necessary. There are no clear instructions or guidelines around fishing in offshore windfarms yet in Australia, but we invite everyone interested to be involved to achieve the best outcome for the coexistence of all fishing activities in the area.
Which port would the project use? Will Skyborn need the Kingston boat ramp?
The construction port needs to be a deepwater port, such as Port of Portland due to the large size of installation vessels. However, the operation and maintenance vessels tend to be much smaller and can utilise also smaller ports such as Cape Jaffa. For any specific given job, the availability of vessels, crew and equipment needed will impact which port and which type of vessel can be used, and it is likely that different jobs will be serviced from different locations. There is a clear benefit in proximity for the project and hence we will be investigating all possible access options. We heard a lot about the Kingston boat ramp during the December drop-in session and understand that this is a key issue for many in the community. Once the development of project progresses further, we will develop a benefit sharing program, in which needs such as the boat ramp, will be considered together with the local stakeholders. We want to give back to the community and tailor the benefit sharing program to best support the local lifestyle, community and aspirations. This could include initiatives such as the boat ramp and a variety of other good ideas (such as local environmental / biodiversity projects) which were raised during the December drop-in session.
How far from Kingston coast would the turbines be located? Can I see the turbines from the shore?
The closest row of turbines would be around 10 km from Kingston. From the very edge of Cape Jaffa, the closest turbine would be closer, about 7.7 km. That means that turbines would be visible from the shoreline, albeit appear in the distance. During the project, we will conduct a comprehensive visual assessment including modelling of where the turbines would be visible and produce photomontages showing how turbines would look in the landscape from various viewpoints. Compared to the very first layouts from 2021, we anticipate a slightly larger turbine, which means that while the single turbines would be bigger, there would be less turbines in a similar area placed further apart from each other. This is to reduce the physical footprint of the project, to minimise environmental and visual impacts and to improve the economical feasibility of the project.
Will we hear the turbines from the shore?
While some noise is created by the ‘swishing’ of blades against the wind, this is very unlikely to be audible from the shore. Nevertheless, any potential noise impact will be the subject of rigorous third-party assessment as part of the feasibility studies and the planning approval process.
When will the project be built? What’s the timeframe?
The project is still in its early feasibility phase with construction starting at the earliest towards the end of the decade. The project needs extensive field studies including at least 2 years of baseline environmental studies, assessments, wind measurement campaign and geotechnical surveys. Permitting process is expected to take several years as well as the detailed technical design.
Will there be more community information sessions I can attend?
Yes. The development of the project will take several years to complete. Skyborn Renewables will be keeping the community informed in various ways over the project life. We will seek to use a range of mediums to do this, including in-person drop-in sessions, webinars, presentations, focus groups, Facebook, newsletters etc, and would welcome any suggestions you may have to improve this reach. In due course, a Community Reference Group will be established as a more structured formalized feedback vehicle.
What kind of environmental studies would the project have to do?
The project needs to go through rigorous environmental assessment and permitting process before proceeding. This includes studies such as bird surveys, marine mammals, benthic habitats, visual impacts, noise impacts (under and above water) and cultural heritage assessment (on-land, intangible values, sea country). The studies will be conducted by third-party experts and in the guidance of State and Commonwealth governments and local stakeholders.
Has the project received any government subsidies?
No. The project has not applied or received any government subsidies.
Where would the project connect to the grid?
There are several options under investigation for grid connection: the project might be connected towards north, in direction to Tailem Bend, or towards south towards Heywood. We are also investigating other alternative power supply options and how the project could best service the changing energy system of SA and rest of Australia.
How can my business supply the project?
The project welcomes any local businesses or individuals whom may be able to supply goods or services to the project through any phase of: development, construction or operations. You can register your interest to supply the project through the contact form ‘Support the Project” or by email, contact us