No Content Set
Exception:
Website.Models.ViewModels.Components.General.Banners.BannerComponentVm

Services

Technical services and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government sectors.

Advisory and management consulting

Advisory and management consulting services for businesses and projects, including economics, due diligence, transaction advisory, ESG and more.

Communications, creative and digital

Communications, creative and digital solutions for governments and businesses including community engagement, design, research, data and software development.

Laboratories

Scientific analysis services for AgroScience, food safety, workplace exposure, environmental metrics and contaminants of concern in Europe and the UK.

Planning and approvals

Development strategy, planning and approval solutions for buildings, infrastructure, transport and city projects and investments.

Project and program management

Project management solutions for the most complex building, infrastructure, organisational change, and systems projects.

Training

Specialist training services, programs and accreditation for health, safety and risk, project management, and energy sector capability development.

Sectors

World-leading technical and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, resources, water, defence and government sectors.

Property

Design, technical and advisory services for the property sector, including residential, commercial, retail, industrial, health, education and data centre projects.

Energy

Energy exploration, development and optimisation solutions for renewables, power and gas networks, energy storage, oil and gas and nuclear facilties.

Transport

Smart, safe and sustainable transport infrastructure development services and advice for rail, aviation, port and road clients and projects.

Defence and government services

Expertise for defence capability and infrastructure investments, security and safety projects, and information and telecommunications initatives.

Water

Discover our industry-leading strategy, design and management solutions for wastewater, groundwater, flooding, drainage and network infrastructure.

Resources

Commercial data, design advice and technical management solutions for safe and environmentally responsible resource exploration and operations.

About us

Responsibility

Services

Technical services and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government sectors.

explore Services
Advisory and management consulting

Advisory and management consulting services for businesses and projects, including economics, due diligence, transaction advisory, ESG and more.

Due diligence

Economics

Strategy and transformation

Commercial and technical advisory

Transaction advisory

Project investment and finance

ESG consulting

Deal advisory

Explore Advisory and management consulting
Communications, creative and digital

Communications, creative and digital solutions for governments and businesses including community engagement, design, research, data and software development.

Communications and engagement

Creative, visualisation and immersive design

Social advisory and research

Data management, analytics and insights

Spatial intelligence and GIS

Software development

Explore Communications, creative and digital
Design and development

Technical and consulting services for buildings, infrastructure and cities including architecture, engineering, surveying, landscape architecture and urban design.

Architecture

Lifts and escalators

Building services engineering

Civil engineering

Fire engineering

Geotechnical engineering

Landscape architecture

Structural engineering

Surveying

Utility options and design

Urban design

Explore Design and development
Laboratories

Scientific analysis services for AgroScience, food safety, workplace exposure, environmental metrics and contaminants of concern in Europe and the UK.

AgroScience analysis

Food safety analysis

PFAS Analysis

Environmental analysis

Analysis of unknowns

Workplace exposure analysis

Explore Laboratories
Planning and approvals

Development strategy, planning and approval solutions for buildings, infrastructure, transport and city projects and investments.

Planning consultancy

Transport planning

Explore Planning and approvals
Project and program management

Project management solutions for the most complex building, infrastructure, organisational change, and systems projects.

Program management

Project management

Cost management / quantity surveying

Building consultancy

Explore Project and program management
Training

Specialist training services, programs and accreditation for health, safety and risk, project management, and energy sector capability development.

Health, safety and risk

Training: project management

Capability development and training for the energy sector

Explore Training

Sectors

World-leading technical and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, resources, water, defence and government sectors.

explore Sectors
Property

Design, technical and advisory services for the property sector, including residential, commercial, retail, industrial, health, education and data centre projects.

Residential

Commercial and retail

Leisure and tourism

Industrial

Health and healthcare

Education

Data centres

Explore Property
Energy

Energy exploration, development and optimisation solutions for renewables, power and gas networks, energy storage, oil and gas and nuclear facilties.

Oil and gas

Renewables

Nuclear facilities

Power and gas networks

Storage

Explore Energy
Transport

Smart, safe and sustainable transport infrastructure development services and advice for rail, aviation, port and road clients and projects.

Rail

Aviation

Ports

Roads

Explore Transport
Defence and government services

Expertise for defence capability and infrastructure investments, security and safety projects, and information and telecommunications initatives.

Defence

Security and safety

Information and telecommunications

Explore Defence and government services
Water

Discover our industry-leading strategy, design and management solutions for wastewater, groundwater, flooding, drainage and network infrastructure.

Water management

Wastewater

Flooding and drainage

Groundwater

UK and Ireland regulated water asset management

Explore Water
Resources

Commercial data, design advice and technical management solutions for safe and environmentally responsible resource exploration and operations.

Mining

Waste

Explore Resources

Projects

We define, design and manage projects that create shared value to a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world.

explore Projects

Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

explore Insights

Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Draft Regulations: An overview for industry

Late last year, the Australian Government passed the Commonwealth Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021 into law.

11 April 2022

Australia

ON THIS PAGE

The Act has established a regulatory framework for the development of offshore electricity infrastructure in Australian waters for the very first time. This includes the assignment of a regulatory body – the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) – and the creation of a licensing framework through which developers can gain approval to investigate, develop and operate new energy projects offshore.

Those of us who work in offshore wind have been eagerly awaiting the release of the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Regulations that support the Act – the mechanisms that will allow our industry to successfully license, and eventually construct offshore wind farms. In March, the Commonwealth Government released the draft regulations for public comment (submissions close on 22 April 2022 and can be made here).

Offshore wind farm - white turbines in the mid-ground on calm blue waters, blue sky with clouds.

Here are a few key takeaways from the draft regulations and cost recovery plan, and what they could mean for projects seeking a feasibility license.

License requirements

When applying for a feasibility license, the draft regulations stipulate that a number of criteria are met. These include:

Applicant requirements

  • The license applicant (‘Eligible Person’) must be:

    • A body corporate that has a registered office (within the meaning of the Corporations Act) in Australia, or

    • A body corporate established for a public purpose by or under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory.

  • Licenses can be held by only one Eligible Person (ie: no joint venture license holders) and licenses will likely need to be held by special purpose corporate vehicles.

Application requirements

When preparing a feasibility license application, proponents must provide details about:

  • The proposed project’s design, capacity, and the infrastructure to be installed.

  • The proposed grid connection.

  • Any proximity agreements in place with other users of the environment.

  • Spatial details of the license area (areas must be one defined zone with a maximum size of 700km2, and no infrastructure must be installed within 2.5km of the license boundary).

Wind turbines being installed with a crane offshore. Blue ocean and blue sky with completed turbines in foreground and background.

Making the case for license approval

When preparing an application, license seekers will need to demonstrate how their project stacks up from a technical and commercial perspective, and their own capacity for seeing the project through.

Applicants must show:

  • Their technical and financial capability to carry out the proposed commercial offshore infrastructure project, including:

    • The technical advice and support they will have through employees, consultants, or other providers.

    • Their experience in prior or current offshore electricity projects and their performance – in Australia and overseas. Performance measures include regulatory compliance, legal enforcements, occupational health and safety matters, and environmental incidents.

    • Their corporate governance structure, including how chain of command, transparency, and governance responsibilities are handled internally.

Past performance of the applicant and/or parent company and its directors may also be considered during the licensing assessment and decision-making process.

  • The indicative viability of the proposed project for which the feasibility license is sought, including:

    • A proposed workplan to test the project’s feasibility, including the identification of areas of uncertainty for the project, and how this will be dealt with during feasibility studies.

    • Commercial assumptions and cost estimates ($/MW installed and MW/km2).

    • The estimated commercial return to the project’s developer.

    • Any route-to-market arrangements for supply or distribution of the project’s generated or transmitted electricity to onshore (applicants should include evidence of a Connection Enquiry having been made with energy regulators, where relevant).

Considering the national interest

The Commonwealth Government has introduced the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021 to support the establishment of a successful offshore renewables sector that will help Australia decarbonise its energy landscape.

Doing so is in the national interest, and operators who wish to apply for licenses must demonstrate that their projects are as well.

In assessing applications, the Regulator will consider how projects contribute to (or erode) Australia’s national interests, including:

  • Economic and community benefits such as jobs creation, emissions reduction, and regional development.

  • National security considerations.

  • Project complexity.

  • Conflicts that may arise with other users within the project area (fisheries for example) and how such conflicts could be managed.

Rotor component of wind turbine sitting face-up on cement blocks on shore. Waiting to be transported offshore and installed.

Process for dealing with competing applications

Recognising that there may be instances where applications for a feasibility license are submitted at the same time and cover the same area (wholly or in part), the draft regulations put the following process forward for assessment and decision-making:

  • Where applications have equal merit, the Minister may invite applicants who have overlapping applications to make financial offers to determine which applicant should be offered the license.

  • Depending on the nature and extent of overlap, applicants may be willing to revise the area they are applying for (presumably in consultation with each other) to avoid making a financial offer.

Fees for licensing: application and annual levies

Application fees

The Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021 and supporting regulations will operate on a cost recovery basis – meaning fees charged to projects are designed to cover only the costs incurred by the Government in regulating the industry, and not to generate additional revenue. We believe that the application fee bracket should work to discourage speculative submissions.

Proposed License Application Fees.jpg

Annual levies

The remainder of the Commonwealth’s cost recovery will come in the form of annual levies broken down into a base rate for the first 100km2 per license type, and a variable component based on a project’s size.

Where projects require a Transmission and Infrastructure License, this is charged at essentially a flat rate (regardless of area).

Proposed Annual Levy Fees.jpg

Moving the offshore wind industry forward

The draft regulations are another important step forward for the offshore renewables industry, providing additional certainty and direction to offshore wind developers about the pathway towards construction and operation.

RPS is continuing our work with clients to prepare projects for the license application process ahead (and beyond to construction and operations), and we look forward to the release of the next tranche of supporting documents by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources in the second half of 2022. We expect these to include more technical detail around the content requirements for the Management Plans that need to be approved by NOPSEMA before a license is issued.