All 22 Aug 2023

Kingston Offshore Windfarm newsletter – moving the project to Commonwealth waters

Skyborn Renewables together with Australis Energy is developing the Kingston Offshore Windfarm project located near Kingston SE. If constructed, the project will have a capacity of a between 1 and 2 GW, with the wind turbine generators (WTGs) now to be located solely in Commonwealth waters.

Project News – moving to Commonwealth waters

After discussions with several SA State Departments, Skyborn and Australis have decided to withdraw their development application for the Kingston windfarm in the State Waters. The application in State Waters will also be formally discontinued by State Gazettal. We are continuing development in the Kingston area and we are exploring options to develop in the Commonwealth waters in collaboration with the SA Department of Energy and Mining.

This means the project would be located further offshore than originally planned. Normally, the State and Commonwealth jurisdictions border is 3 nautical miles (5.5 km) from the shore, with South Australia governing the waters up to 3 nautical miles, after which the waters are under Commonwealth government control. However, locally in the Kingston area (Lacpede Bay), this border is extended further out into the Southern Ocean, to a maximum of about 15 km offshore.

Previously the closest WTGs to Kingston would have been within 15km of the shoreline within State waters, whereas now the plan is for the closest WTGs to be located about 15 km offshore, all outside the State waters and State Marine Park. Relocating the WTGs into Commonwealth waters will further reduce any potential for visual impact from shore, and minimise any environmental impacts.

The Commonwealth area beyond the State waters boundary has excellent wind resources and suitable water depth, which is why we are continuing to pursue offshore wind development opportunities in the Kingston area. Under the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021 (OEI Act), a suitable area in Commonwealth waters will need to be declared by the Federal Energy Minister prior to developers applying for a Feasibility Licence. At this stage, no declaration of an offshore wind zone around South Australian borders (apart from the proposed Southern Oceans Offshore Wind Zone around Portland which spans into South Australia) has been announced, but we remain hopeful that South Australia will be targeted in a future offshore wind zone declaration.

What’s next?

We continue to support the Kingston area as it offers a unique combination of favourable wind and technical conditions. We believe that the project can be developed in an environmentally sustainable manner, and that it would contribute to the economic development of the region and provide significant local benefits.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank stakeholders for the widespread support for the project, and whilst we acknowledge that many of you will be disappointed with this news, we will continue to work to develop an even larger project, further from shore, in Commonwealth waters.

The active environmental and geophysical works will be paused while discussions with the State and Commonwealth governments are on-going. The website will remain active, and we will inform you when we know more. Feel free to drop us a message in the Contact Us page for any questions or enquiries.