Victoria charges ahead with new wind farms

A Victorian Government tender to support two new wind farms will deliver large amounts of electricity, create jobs and pave the way for a cleaner, smarter future, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) said.

CEC policy manager Alicia Webb said the Kiata (Windlab) and Mt Gellibrand (Acciona) wind farms, which will be operational by 2018, marked the beginning of a shift towards renewable energy in Victoria.

“The Victorian Government has committed to new state renewable energy targets of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025, and there will be a lot of activity out to the end of the decade and beyond to ensure their successful delivery,” she said.

“Using reverse auctions to support renewable energy has been successfully pioneered by the ACT Government over the last few years, and ensures the best bang for buck for Victoria. Under a reverse auction, renewable energy companies offer bids to supply clean electricity, and the lowest price wins.

Ms Webb said “disasters” such as the Hazelwood mine fire demonstrate industry needs to operate differently.

“The world is moving towards renewable energy, and the Victorian Government should be congratulated for leading positive change,” she said.

“Moving the state away from brown coal is challenging, and there are workers and communities near coal-fired power plants that need carefully considered transition plans. No-one is under any illusion about whether or not the change to clean energy will happen – it’s really about how fast it occurs and how the process is managed.

Renewable energy is supported by most Victorians, according to Ms Webb, as it creates jobs and investment for locals, and offers other benefits for local community organisations.