Beon Energy Solutions has been nominated as a finalist in the Clean Energy Council’s 2020 awards for its ground-breaking program to get more women working in renewable energy, Women in Solar.
Beon’s Women in Solar program was a key part of the company’s successful community engagement approach during construction of the 120MW Bomen Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga in NSW.
It is one of four projects shortlisted in the Community Engagement category.
The program was designed to increase the number of women working in solar farm construction and included job pathways for women who had been facing barriers to employment.
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The pilot project provided training and employment to 11 women – three who were single mothers, three who were Aboriginal and five who were long-term unemployed.
Beon also facilitated the creation of a $500,000, 10-year partnership between the Bomen Solar Farm and Mount Austin High School, which was funded by Spark Infrastructure and the Westpac Banking Corporation, to keep girls in school longer, with support to transition into the workforce upon graduation.
In addition, Beon has established a $50,000 scholarship fund for female workers to undertake further study or training courses that will enhance their skills and assist them to continue working in the industry.
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Beon’s general manager Glen Thomson said it was an honour to be shortlisted as a finalist for the second year in a row, reflecting the hard work and dedication that our project teams give to ensure the renewable energy sector is set up for long-term success.
“Congratulations to the other finalists in our category – we are excited to be recognised among such top-quality projects that are making a real difference to local communities,” Mr Thomson said.
“The renewable energy sector is providing exciting job and economic growth opportunities and by creating the women in solar program, we are building the skills and diversity our industry will need for the future.”
One participant in the Women in Solar program, Hayley Stear, said it was a great experience.
“It’s given us all the courage to step out, because a lot of us have been unemployed and are single parents and this has taken us back to work and into society,” Ms Stear said.
The Clean Energy Council’s annual awards winners will be announced on August 25.