Wind power is creating new manufacturing jobs in Geelong with wind turbine components set to be assembled at the former Ford Motor manufacturing site.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio visited the site today to announce that international company Vestas has partnered with local Victorian contractor Marand to build wind turbines for the Berrybank and Dundonnell wind farms.
Member for Geelong Christine Couzens said she's proud to see Geelong helping to lead the way in Victoria’s renewable energy future and benefiting from the local jobs and economic growth that flow from it.
The facility forms part of the Vestas Renewable Energy Hub (VREH) and will be responsible for the assembly of 100 turbine hubs and 50 drive trains for the 180-megawatt (MW) Berrybank Wind Farm and the 336MW Dundonnell Wind Farm. Full production of these wind turbine parts is expected to start in August.
The VREH will involve investment of approximately $3.5 million and directly employ over 20 employees. The project will train hundreds of local staff in wind turbine maintenance and see wind turbine component assembly in Australia for the first time in over 10 years.
Danish-headquartered Vestas is the world’s largest supplier of wind turbines and has been active in Victoria since 1999. It has been nominated as the preferred supplier of wind turbines for the two projects.
The development of the hub will help Dundonnell Wind Farm and Berrybank Wind Farm deliver on their local content commitment, supporting the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Industry Participation Policy.
The two new wind farm developments are supported by the Labor Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Targets reverse auction.
“Victoria is the renewable energy capital of our nation and thanks to this new facility, we’re putting Geelong at the centre of it – this is great for jobs and great for Geelong. Whether it’s the VRET or our Solar Homes Program, we’re driving down the energy costs for families, supporting local businesses and creating thousands of jobs,” Premier Daniel Andrews was quoted as saying in today's media release from his office.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio was quoted as saying:
“This partnership shows how our transition to renewable energy is good for the environment and good for the economy – creating demand for local manufacturing skills and significant investment in the local supply chain.”
Vestas Renewable Energy Hub
In addition to the wind turbine assembly facility, the Hub also includes four other initiatives:
1. Establishing the Western Victorian Service Support Centre to service the growing Vestas turbine fleet in Western Victoria;
2. Entering into a multi-year partnership with Federation University's Ballarat Renewable Training Centre to deliver training and employment opportunities for wind turbine technicians;
3. Establishing the Vestas Australian Main Component Logistics Centre in Geelong, a specialist facility for the largest turbine spare parts;
4. Forming a partnership with Deakin University's Carbon Nexus to research the next generation carbon fibre to use in making wind turbine blades longer, stronger and more productive.
In its first 24 hours on Facebook, this video interview with Caroline Danaher reached 6,108 people, was viewed over 3,100 times, and had 1,699 engagements (sharing, liking, commenting).
Congrats to Caroline Danaher - that kind of interest certainly tells the story that even though it might LOOK like it at times, you are NOT ALONE and you are an inspiration to others.
Tune in when The Sustainable Hour live-streams from The Persistent Pensioner's basecamp in Waurn Ponds this Friday – on Facebook at 2pm [Melbourne time]
The Sustainable Hour Caroline Danaher is Geelong's persistent climate action campaigner, who every Friday sits in front of her local Member of Parliament’s office in support of Greta Thunberg’s #FridaysForFuture school strike. She says she will continue to do this if necessary until she dies.
Caroline Danaher wants to remind her local MP, Sarah Henderson, that we are in a climate emergency, and that we need to do something about it. She hopes many other will start doing the same in front of the office of their own local MP – in particular in these months where we have an election coming.
Below is a full transcript of the video interview with Caroline Danaher about what inspired her to become so persistent:
“I’m Caroline Danaher – just an ordinary pensioner, who’s been involved with issues about the climate for many years now. But the climate strike particularly re-energised me in a different way, because I felt that politicians were not taking notice. They were actually quite dismissive of the children and indeed they were in fact dismissive of everybody. I thought: I need to do something else, and I’d read about this girl in Sweden, who is 15 and she sits outside her Parliament... Originally I thought I’d go up to the State Parliament [in Melbourne] and sit there, and then I thought: from the Bellarine? This is pathetic. Canberra? This is even more useless, I can’t do that either. However I can go and sit outside my local MP’s office, at Sarah Henderson’s, because she is my politician, and I can actually have some say, or meaning that I feel I can have a personal relationship with her and I just thought, I’ll just come and I’ll do it on Fridays, because that is when the school strikes are happening, and it will mean something to other people. I came the first Friday and it was over 44°C degrees and I had no idea it was that hot, but people came by and spoke to me and said they agreed with me that this had to change, and I’ve since had so much support from so many people that it has completely blown me away. I will continue to do this if necessary until I die. However there is an election coming up this year and I feel we have a gift, because we can make a difference this year, if we all take a little step and we can actually do something and I think, as Noam Chomsky said, it is the small persistent steps that are needed and if we make a personal contribution by talking to our own Members of Parliament, our own Senators that this is no longer something that we can leave. It has been going on now for years and we need to do something about it. Look at the drought we have had and the fish dying in the Murray Darling. I lived in Dubbo for 13 years. I cannot believe that beautiful river is in such a state. I live on the Bellarine. I actually live right on the coast. If you want to find out what is happening to your coastline you can go onto Mapping Choices and see what will happen if we go beyond 1.5°C if we go to 2°C or we go to 4°C. I could not believe that my home town London will be completely devastated in many, many areas and I’m sure if you go around the world you can home in on one area. You can see what a difference it will make and so we need to act. We cannot just pretend this it is not happening. I’m hoping that, not that we gather a whole lot of people here, at this particular place. I’m hoping that everyone over Australia, all of Australia, will actually engage with their own politician and they can then, as we have done today, create a network so if I’m run over by a bus tomorrow, somebody else will be here next week.”