Wind turbines in Victoria support regional manufacturing jobs

Wind turbines made in Australia have begun to be built for the Berrybank Wind Farm.

The project is worth $276 million and will be built by Spanish firm Global Power Generation (Naturgy Energy Group) with assembly and manufacture carried out in Victoria. The farm will involve 213 construction jobs as well as 24 apprenticeships.

The manufacture of these wind turbines is the first time in ten years that such machines have been built in Australia according to the statement by the Victorian state government.

The turbines will reportedly be assembled at the Vestas Renewable Energy Hub which is located on the former Ford site in Geelong.

The statement also mentioned that the Victorian Industry Participation Policy will ensure that at least 64 per cent of the content is produced locally.

In addition to the local production of the turbines, the manufacturing process will be augmented with a collaboration with Ballarat-based Federation University.

The manufacture of the turbines will allow for technicians to be trained to maintain the turbines once they have been installed.

The Berrybank Wind Farm is a result of the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) reverse auction scheme which provides incentives for the further manufacture of renewable energy technologies. As part of the state’s target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, companies bid to produce clean energy at the lowest cost.

The target of 40 per cent renewable energy by 2025 is expected to create more than 10 000 jobs with $7.2 billion of investment.

Elsewhere in the state, solar farms in Carawarp, Cohuna and Winton, and wind farms in Mortlake South and Dundonnell have been built via the VRET auction.

Member for Buninyong, Michaela Settle, highlighted how the Berrybank project benefits regional manufacturing economies.

“I’m proud to see the Ballarat region helping to lead the way in Victoria’s renewable energy future, with all the local jobs and economic prosperity that flows from it,” said Settle.

The Berrybank Wind Farm is forecasted to begin operating in late 2020.