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Midwest Offshore Wind Farm
Assessment Approach Determined
Person or organisation proposing to take the action
<p>Midwest Offshore Wind Pty Ltd is proposing the construction, operation, and decommissioning of the Midwest Offshore Wind Farm project (the proposed action). </p><p>The proposed action is located approximately 500 km north of Perth, Western Australia (WA), off the coast of the Kalbarri township, Shire of Northampton. The offshore Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs), Offshore Sub-Station (OSS) platforms and subsea inter-array cables will be located within Commonwealth marine waters. The export cables will transit through State waters to join onshore transmission infrastructure.</p><p>The proposed action will span:</p><ul><li>Commonwealth waters (from 3 nm to approximately 70 km from the coast)</li><li>Western Australian State waters off the coast of Kalbarri (out to 3 nm, approximately 7 km north of Kalbarri)</li><li>WA land areas (up to 2 km inshore, 7 km north of Kalbarri)</li></ul><p>The Development Envelope (the total area within which the proposed activities will occur) covers: 310,600 ha within Commonwealth waters; 3,300 ha within WA State waters; and 500 ha within WA onshore lands. The south-east corner of the proposed action’s onshore Development Envelope area is approximately 7 km north of the Kalbarri townsite, 51 km due west of the NW Coastal Highway (CRS: GDA2020: Easting 220444.144, Northing 6940055.069). </p><p>A 5 km buffer has been applied around the Development Envelope, referred to as the Study Area, to assess any potential downstream or edge impacts associated with the proposed action. The Study Area covers 407,300 ha within Commonwealth waters; 33,600 ha within WA State waters; and 7,900 ha within WA onshore lands.</p><p>The Project Footprint (the area that will be directly impacted by the physical presence of the proposed action) covers 1,899 ha within Commonwealth waters; 170 ha within WA State waters; and 21 ha within WA onshore lands.</p><p>No Avoidance Area has been included as the Project Area/Development Envelope has been designed around known areas to be avoided.</p><p>No Retention Area has been included as no offsets have been designated for the proposed action.</p><p>Note: The applicability of the above terms to the areas identified within Section 2.1 of the <i>EPBC Act</i> online referral form are detailed below:</p><ul><li>Disturbance Footprint: is the Development Envelope</li><li>Project Area: is also the same area as the Development Envelope. To be conservative, we have not used the Project Footprint as the Project Area. This area will be refined as the design of the proposed action progresses. However, the Project Area is likely to be a much smaller area (closer to that of the Project Footprint) than is currently assigned.</li><li>Avoidance Area: none identified as the Development Envelope has been designed around known areas to be avoided.</li><li>Retention Area: none identified as no offsets have been designated for the proposed action.</li></ul><p>The key components of the proposed action include:</p><ul><li>Within Commonwealth waters – WTGs; OSS platforms; substructures and seabed foundations (for the WTGs and OSS platforms); and subsea cables (inter-array cables) linking the WTGs with each other and the OSS</li><li>Within WA State waters – Subsea export cables to connect the wind farm to the coast via a landfall</li><li>Within WA onshore lands – Onshore supporting electricity transmission assets (cables and substations) to transmit energy generated to an onshore load centre or electricity grid connection point</li></ul><p>The proposed action’s activities that may have a direct/indirect impact to MNES include the following:</p><ul><li>Within Commonwealth and WA State waters<ul><li>Offshore construction works, including the installation of WTGs, OSS platforms, and EMF cables; offshore operations of these structures; and supporting vessel activities</li><li>Occurring within an area of 310,600 ha within Commonwealth waters; 3,300 ha within WA State waters</li><li>May directly and indirectly impact Commonwealth Marine Areas and several threatened and migratory species (significant impacts possible)</li></ul></li><li>Within WA onshore land areas<ul><li>Onshore clearing, earthworks, and trenching activities</li><li>Occurring within an area of up to 500 ha</li><li>May directly and indirectly impact several threatened species and ecological communities (not expected to be significantly impacted)</li></ul></li></ul><p>The proposed action is in the early development stage, and therefore many of the detailed design parameters are yet to be determined. The design process is evolving based on technical feasibility and commercial viability studies and will continue to be refined in response to environmental and social impacts identified, as well as the consultation process. Management/mitigation measures will be implemented to ensure all potential impacts on MNES are reduced to as low as reasonably practicable.</p>
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