Renewable energy is driving new manufacturing jobs in Geelong, with wind turbine components now being assembled at the former Ford Motors site.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio officially opened the Vestas Renewable Energy Hub (VREH) today – the first-time wind turbines have been assembled in Australia for more than 10 years.
Over 20 workers are now on site assembling 100 turbine hubs and 50 drive trains for the 180 megawatt Berrybank Wind Farm and the 336 megawatt Dundonnell Wind Farm.
The two new wind farm developments are currently under construction and are supported by the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target Reverse Auction.
Along with the assembly work, the VREH is investing $3.5 million on a range of initatives to plan for the future of the wind industry – including a 700 square-metre Service, Logistics and Training Centre in Grovedale that will service the growing turbine fleet across Western Victoria and house major wind turbine components.
Hundreds of local staff will also be trained in wind turbine maintenance through a partnership with Federation University, while a research partnership with Deakin University will look at further development of carbon fibre for wind turbine blades longer, stronger and more productive.
The world-leading wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, has partnered with Geelong-based Marand Precision Engineering to establish the VREH and provide a local workforce.
The development of the VREH will assist Dundonnell Wind Farm and Berrybank Wind Farm deliver their local content commitments through the Victorian Industry Participation Policy, supporting local jobs.
As stated by Premier Daniel Andrews
“The production line at the old Ford factory is humming again, creating local jobs and building our energy future.”
“It’s the first-time wind turbines have been assembled in Australia in more than a decade and they’re being built right here in Geelong – supporting local workers, businesses and the community.”
As stated by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“Our Renewable Energy Target has given solar and wind companies all around the world the confidence to invest in our state – generating not just energy, but more jobs and economic opportunities for local communities.”
As stated by Minister for Training, Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney
“The renewable energy industry is booming in Victoria and through this training program with Federation University we’re making sure our local workers have the skills they need to meet the ever-growing demand.”
As stated by Member for Lara John Eren
“The former Ford factory holds a special place in my heart and the hearts of many Geelong residents so it’s great to see it pumping again, assembling wind turbines and creating local jobs.”
As stated by Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“Victoria is the place to be when it comes to renewable energy and Geelong is leading the way in using this booming industry to find new demand for our skilled manufacturing workers and drive local business growth.”
As stated by Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville
“Geelong has always been known for manufacturing and it’s great to see these skills being put to new uses as part of Victoria’s renewable energy boom.”
As stated by Member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman
“This is an exciting day for Geelong as we breathe new life back into the old Ford factory and help our state transition to a cleaner energy future.”