There are 4 classes of licences beneath the Invoice together with feasibility licences, industrial licences, transmission and infrastructure licences and analysis and demonstration licences.
Feasibility licenses might be granted in order to allow the licence holder to evaluate the feasibility of an offshore undertaking inside a declared space, and later apply for a industrial licence if the undertaking is to proceed.
A number of licences could be granted in respect of a declared space and so they can’t overlap. The feasibility licence might be granted for a most interval of seven years however will expire earlier if a industrial licence is granted in respect of the identical space earlier than that date.
It’s anticipated that feasibility licences will embrace work programme and minimal spend necessities just like these utilized to mining tenements and oil exploration licences. It’s because licence areas are unique, which is licence areas should not overlap. The minister is not going to need licensees to take a seat on licence areas with out motion.
A industrial licence will permit for the development, commissioning and ongoing operation of economic scale offshore electrical energy infrastructure. The licence might be granted for a length of as much as 40 years however could be prolonged in sure circumstances.
Transmission and infrastructure licences
Transmission and infrastructure licences authorise the licence holder to assemble and function infrastructure that can retailer, transmit or convey electrical energy which can or is probably not from renewable sources or a renewable power product. In contrast to the opposite classes of licences, a transmission and infrastructure licence could be issued for the lifetime of the asset and doesn’t require the transmission infrastructure to be wholly positioned inside a declared space.
Analysis and demonstration licences
The analysis and demonstration licence authorises analysis into, or demonstration of, the capabilities of small scale offshore renewable power infrastructure or offshore electrical energy transmission infrastructure. These licences are supposed for rising applied sciences similar to wave, tidal or ocean thermal electrical energy technology. The licence interval might be for a most of 10 years, with the potential for extension, nevertheless any infrastructure put in beneath this licence have to be eliminated by the tip of the licence interval.
The analysis and demonstration licences will not be topic to the aggressive processes prescribed for feasibility licences and may overlap with different lessons of licence.
In an effort to be granted a licence, amongst different issues, candidates might want to meet sure eligibility and advantage standards. Whereas the entire record of advantage standards stays to be confirmed via rules, candidates will, amongst different issues, have to fulfill the minister that the undertaking is viable and that the applicant meets the technical and monetary functionality to hold out the proposed actions. It’s anticipated that the technical and monetary functionality thresholds might be excessive.
There’s a clear intention within the Invoice that the taxpayer is not going to be left with the decommissioning and remediation prices for recalcitrant licensees. For instance, the requirement to supply efficiency safety at ss. 117 to 119. Provided that the scheme might be administered by NOPSEMA and NOPTA, it’s anticipated that the monetary and technical functionality standards could also be broadly per these utilized to the exploration and manufacturing permits for offshore petroleum and accordingly will restrict exploration and improvement to established and well-funded gamers within the trade.
As soon as a licence in granted, whatever the class, licence holders may even be required to:
- maintain an permitted administration plan; and
- present acceptable monetary safety that can cowl the price of demobilising any offshore electrical energy infrastructure which is put in; and
- adjust to some other licence circumstances.
The identical regulator established beneath the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (Cth), being the Nationwide Offshore Petroleum Security and Environmental Administration Authority (NOPSEMA) would be the “offshore infrastructure regulator” beneath the Invoice. Equally, the identical administrator, being the Nationwide Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) would be the “registrar” beneath the Invoice.
NOPSEMA and its inspectors may have powers to watch and implement compliance and cope with contraventions beneath the Invoice. There are a number of offences beneath the Invoice, together with offences of strict legal responsibility and which can end in imprisonment for contraventions. This contains the violation by a vessel of a ‘security zone’.
The Invoice gives for security zones and safety zones to be established to guarantee the security of offshore employees and different customers of the marine setting and to guard marine property from injury.
The Invoice doesn’t comprise a completely bespoke security framework, in distinction to the equal offshore petroleum laws, however moderately the usual Work Well being and Security Act 2011 will apply topic to some amendments set out within the Invoice. NOPSEMA might be liable for monitoring and implementing WHS obligations. Whether or not this extra generic strategy to security might be appropriate to the very particular setting of offshore wind stays to be seen.
The place the Invoice doesn’t expressly tackle a matter, present laws will proceed to use, which is in relation to environmental approvals and connection functions. It stays to be seen whether or not the present laws might be adequately nuanced for the event of offshore electrical energy infrastructure.