Locals employed at the Karadoc solar farm had an opportunity to showcase their skills this week, with Victoria’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio joining BayWa r.e. and Beon Energy Solutions to tour the construction site.
Due for completion later this year, the 112MW solar farm, located near Mildura in northwest Victoria, will generate enough power to supply 110,000 Australian homes, making it one of the largest in the country.
The project will employ 300 workers during the construction phase, including 25 apprentices studying at the Sunraysia Institute of TAFE, as well as 40 local employees hired through a partnership with the Jobs Victoria Employment Network in Mildura.
“The Karadoc solar farm is a great example of a renewable energy project delivering cleaner energy, local jobs and economic growth,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
Karadoc is being developed by BayWa r.e, a global renewable energy developer, service supplier, wholesaler and energy solutions provider, and constructed by Melbourne-based Beon Energy Solutions.
Beon Energy Solutions general manager Glen Thomson said the building phase had provided opportunities for local workers to gain the experience and qualifications they need to work at other renewable energy sites across the state.
“The Solar Industry Career Pathway program we created in partnership with SuniTAFE, opens doors for people who may otherwise have struggled to find employment,” Mr Thomson said.
“This has been successful in helping us achieve our goal of constructing Karadoc using as many local workers as possible, giving back to the local community and supporting the wider region.”
A large part of the power generated by the project will be used by Carlton and United Breweries (CUB), following the recent signing of a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
BayWa r.e. Wind managing director David Shapero said the site visit from Ms D’Ambrosio provided the ideal opportunity to see first-hand how projects like Karadoc are helping Australia transition towards greener energy, while also creating valuable employment opportunities for local workers.
“This is just one of a number of solar and wind projects we are bringing forward, including the 106 MW solar farm in nearby Yatpool,” Mr Shapero said.
“Australia is an exciting market. We are seeing a rising number of leading businesses start their renewable journey and CUB is a great example.
“We will supply power from Karadoc as part of CUB’s objective to source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables.”