The developer of Australia’s first offshore wind farm has named Casper Frost Thorhauge – an Orsted veteran and pioneer of Taiwan’s sector – as its new CEO.
Thorhauge will lead the 2.2GW plan to deploy turbines off the state of Victoria, in what would be the Southern Hemisphere’s largest offshore wind development.
Star of the South said its new CEO “has extensive experience in developing and delivering offshore wind projects in Europe and Asia”.
Thorhauge joins Star of the South after leading Orsted’s 900MW Greater Changhua 1 and 2a project off Taiwan, one of the early clutch of large-scale projects in that market and currently preparing to start construction in 2021.
He has a 10-year career at Orsted since joining Dong Energy, as it was then known, in 2008, according to Linkedin.
In Taiwan, Orsted and other developers faced having to build relationships with local and national governments and other stakeholders in areas such as local content, which rapidly emerged as a sensitive issue for the island's offshore wind ambitions.
Australian labour unions earlier this week gave their blessing to offshore wind as an antidote to job losses in oil & gas, but called for strict local content rules to be attached to Star of the South and any future projects.
Thorhauge takes the helm as site investigations begin in earnest at Star of the South’s site in the Bass Strait, with two floating Lidar devices and a wave buoy deployed. He said: “This project has the potential to power hundreds of thousands of Victorian homes, providing a reliable and consistent source of energy, while creating jobs and investment for Gippsland.”
If the project is feasible it could be delivering full power by 2027, said the developer, which is backed by global offshore wind investor Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).
Thorhauge succeeds Andy Evans, who lead Star of the South from its earliest days and is now pursuing other ventures in clean energy and leading Offshore Wind Australia, a new business network for the nation’s fledgling sector.