Spinifex Offshore Wind Farm team takes desktop research out to sea

Spinifex Project Team members sit on a boat offshore Portland

Earlier this month our Spinifex Offshore Wind Farm team used a regular visit to Portland (Vic) to check out some of the coastline near the project’s offshore investigation area by boat.

The team toured waters south of the town, taking in the limestone-capped basalt cliff face of Cape Nelson, the head of Point Danger and nearby islets of Lawrence Rocks, and their amazing fur seal and gannet colonies.

“Of course, we have studied the marine environment and the local geology extensively at a desktop level, but nothing beats seeing these areas from on the water,” said Linden Blair, Alinta Energy Project Development Manager — Offshore Wind.

“It’s also just a beautiful part of the world and we always enjoy our time in Portland.”

The offshore area under investigation by the Spinifex project team is considered well suited for the scale of the project, which has a target capacity of 1000 MW, enough to supply about 10 per cent of Victoria’s current energy demand.

In addition to being a really windy location, the water at the project investigation area is also relatively shallow at distance — which makes the turbines easier to build but still far enough away that they won’t be prominent from the shore.

“We have a potential local customer in the Portland Aluminium Smelter that is helping us with early feasibility studies for the Spinifex project,” Linden said.

“One great thing about Portland is the existing high voltage infrastructure near the coast, which reduces the need for long overhead transmission lines over private land to access the grid.

“Of course, we’re continuing to engage and seek feedback from the community to ensure we incorporate the best and most up-to-date information into our plans,” Linden concluded.

The project has received a $1.5 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), some of which was used for the procurement and installation of a LiDAR system along the coast for advanced real-time wind monitoring.

To find out more about the project, visit www.spinifexoffshore.com.au.

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