More wind workers in Portland shows local manufacturers ready for #VRET

In a sign of how the upcoming Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) can benefit the state’s manufacturing industry through greater local content, Australia’s top wind manufacturer yesterday announced it will put on  50 new workers at the Keppel Prince wind tower factory in Portland.

As reported by ABC South West VIC Keppel Prince successfully secured a $14 million contract with NSW’s White Rock Wind Farm in the New England Tablelands, which will be the state’s largest wind project.  It will be welcomes news for Keppel Prince who were previously forced to lay off 85 manufacturing workers during the Abbott government’s ferocious attacks on the renewable energy sector in previous years.

It shows domestic manufacturers are competitive and is a sign of how local content will be key for Victorian jobs & manufacturing as the state gets ready to smash the VRET of 40% by 2025.

“With Keppel Prince in Portland and some of Australia’s best wind resources, Victoria’s south-west will directly benefit from Victoria’s move to 40% renewable energy by 2025,” said Pat Simons, Yes 2 Renewables Cleantech Jobs Coordinator.

In an interview with ABC reporter Bridget Judd he added “There’s a lot of jobs in constructing projects like wind farms, but there’s also a lot of opportunity in manufacturing the components, like wind turbine towers,” said Pat Simons

The news highlights the opportunity for Premier Daniel Andrews and Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to prioritise local content and jobs under the VRET, which will get under way in 2017.

“By prioritising local content in the Victorian Renewable Energy Target the Andrews Government can make Victoria a hub for cleantech manufacturing and generate the biggest boost to jobs” added Simons.

David Southwick, Victoria’s Shadow Minister for Renewables can take inspiration from Dan Tehan, local Liberal MP for the federal seat of Wannon, who supported the use of local content by renewable energy companies to boost jobs.

“This is a great initiative between the two companies, and it shows that it will create jobs locally when renewable energy groups lead by example and use local content,” said Tehan.

Meanwhile in NSW, the Baird Government has signalled it will follow the lead of Victoria by setting a target for renewable energy target across the state. Like Victoria, they plan to drive investment using ACT-style reverse auctions to meet a modest goal of 500MW of new renewable generation.

It’s a welcome move, but if they are serious about becoming the “California” of clean energy in Australia they will need to up their game to compete with Victoria.

All parties can support local jobs and investment in renewable energy.

Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Shadow Minister for Renewables David Southwick can take inspiration from their counterparts in NSW and Canberra by supporting the Victorian Renewable Energy Target.



*Note: The featured image was sourced from Sean McMomish’s 2014 story in The Standard on the impact of Abbott government’s cuts to the national Renewable Energy target in Portland, VIC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s