The case for VRET ambition: Ararat wind farm creates jobs & drought-proof income

In mid-March, Yes 2 Renewables coordinator Leigh Ewbank joined Dylan McConnell of the University of Melbourne’s Energy Research Institute in a site tour of the Ararat wind farm.

The trip coincided with the arrival of the massive 95-tonne transformer manufactured in Glen Waverley–a major milestone for the project.

The 240 megawatt wind farm is being built by RES Australia. Once completed it will produce enough electricity to power 120,000 homes and help the ACT achieve its ambitious Renewable Energy Target of 90 percent by 2020 (and 100 percent by 2025).

With NASA research confirming climate change is occurring faster than anticipated, there’s a clear need for governments to ramp up efforts to tackle climate change.

Federal and state governments should be talking seriously about matching the ACT’s level of ambition in their own jurisdictions.

The looming decision on the level of ambition the Andrews government will take to Victorian Renewable Energy Targets is an opportunity for our state to get a move on.

Building a renewable energy economy will create a jobs boom and deliver drought-proof income for regional communities.

As RES Australia representative Tanya Jackson told us in Ararat, the company has sought to maximise local procurement to boost jobs and flow-on benefits.

The wind farm’s 75 turbines will sit atop towers made in Portland, Victoria. And the transformer was built in Glen Waverley in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

The economic benefits of renewable energy aren’t limited to suburban areas and regional centres.

The Ararat wind farm alone represents a half-billion investment in regional Victoria, with at least $10 million worth of contacts awarded to local businesses.

The construction workforce of 165 will inject an estimated $7-8 million into the region’s economy during the two-year construction.

Once operational, the Ararat wind farm will generate drought-proof income for the wind farmers, 13 operations and maintenance jobs, and $75,000 p.a for community projects.

Intensifying drought conditions in western Victoria is another reason to be ambitious with growing renewables. Fortunately, Victoria wont have to rely on the policies of other states to grow renewables for much longer.

The Andrews government will soon release its Renewable Energy Action Plan that will set Victorian Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 and 2025.

We’re calling on Premier Daniel Andrews to take ambition to renewable energy targets. More renewables means more jobs and drought-proof income for regional communities.

A coaltion of support for growing renewable energy has emerged with key environment groups, unions, and community organisations calling for more renewable energy.

You can add your voice to the chorus of support by taking the following actions…


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