The Andrews Labor Government has confirmed the first group of successful recipients of its $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund grants with Northern Victoria to receive nearly $300,000 in funding, Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, announced today.

Projects to receive Labor Government funding are:

  • Wodonga City Council – $80,000 to fund a community solar project.
  • Euroa Environment Group – $50,000 to fund the Strathbogie – Seymour Energy Alliance Pumped Hydroelectric Energy Storage business case.
  • Goulburn Valley Community Energy – $50,000 to fund the Tatura Energy Future project.
  • Wangaratta Government Centre – $100,000 to fund a study for a clean energy project.

Ms Symes said these are four of 24 grants announced statewide and it is exciting that the Northern Victoria grant recipients provided innovative ideas for projects that support a clean energy future and help position Victoria as a leader in new energy technologies.

“I look forward to working with these groups, we are determined to grow clean energy jobs and business opportunities that benefit our local communities in country Victoria,” Ms Symes said.

“We’re proud to be rebuilding much needed confidence in the renewable energy industry following the neglect of the former Liberal National Government at both state and federal levels over recent years.”

Ms Symes said the fund is a key component of the Labor Government’s $200 million Future Industries Fund to support high growth, high value industries, such as the new energy technologies sector that are critical to securing Victoria’s future as a competitive, innovative and outward looking economy.

Project details below.

The Wodonga Community Solar project will develop a business case to establish the feasibility of installing more than 2MW solar PV system to reduce the electricity costs of 350 low income households.

This would be achieved either by providing the cheaper electricity directly to the homes, or by using the income generated to fund energy efficient upgrades for these households.

The business case will also develop a framework to establish a community education centre to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency to local residents, businesses and visitors to Wodonga.

The Strathbogie – Seymour Energy Alliance Pumped Hydroelectric Energy Storage business case will determine whether there is a case for despatchable renewable energy as base load electricity to reduce network constraints in the Hume region.

The study will also look to determine whether pumped hydro is an appropriate technology to deliver the electricity. The findings from this study will support the development of this project.

The Goulburn Valley Community Energy Tatura Energy Future project will determine the viability of a large-scale (up to 30 MW) PV installation at one of three potential sites. The study will include an investigation of network connection options, constraints and their associated costs. A range of PV installation sizes for each location, depending on constraints and costs will also be investigated.

The Wangaratta Government Centre clean energy project study will help inform the development of a 20 megawatt solar farm with battery storage capability which will transmit electricity directly to a nearby industrial estate in Wangaratta.

The project is designed to attract new businesses to the industrial estate with the offer of clean energy at comparable market rates with long term guarantees on pricing. Other councils wishing to secure their energy supplies or address energy shortages could potentially use the solar farm as a reference site in the future.