Australian Economy

Australia’s biggest offshore wind project names new CEO

Australia’s biggest and most advanced offshore wind farm, the 2.2GW Star of the South project being developed off the Gippsland coast of Victoria, has announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer.

Star of the South said on Monday that energy industry veteran Charles Rattray will take up the position in August, allowing acting CEO Erin Coldham to resume her role as chief development officer of the massive, ground-breaking project.

Rattray was most recently managing director for Nexif Energy and in that role oversaw the development of the Lincoln Gap wind farm and big battery in South Australia – one of the biggest wind developments in the country at the time.

Star of the South chair Thomas Wibe Poulsen says Rattray joins the company at an exciting time, as federal legislation comes into effect enabling offshore wind projects and following the announcement of the Victorian government’s offshore wind target.

That target – to deliver first output from offshore wind by 2028, ratcheting up to 4GW of installed capacity by 2035 and 9GW by 2040 – aims to help fill the gap of the huge coal generators that will be shut by then.

Its announcement earlier this year is said to have spurred another big achievement for Star of the South – last week’s acquisition of a 10% stake in the project by Cbus Super, a building and construction super fund with more than $70 billion under management.

“[Rattray’s] experience working with new technologies and developing projects in the Australian market will strongly complement the specialist offshore wind expertise in the team,” Wibe Poulsen said in a statement on Monday.

“He brings a strong passion for transforming energy systems and renewable energy to the Star of the South team and is driven to have a positive impact with the projects on which he works.”

Rattray succeeds previous Star of the South CEO Casper Frost Thorhauge, who served in the role for 2.5 years until March 2022.

See RenewEconomy’s Offshore Wind Farm Map of Australia

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