The Andrews Labor Government will help drive down energy prices for hundreds of Latrobe Valley businesses, as part of Australia’s largest installation of microgrids.
Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio was in Morwell today to announce $3 million for the Latrobe Valley Microgrid Program, which will cut energy bills by up to 25 per cent for 750 small to medium sized businesses in the region.
The program will create 90 local jobs and see 7.5 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics and 1.5MW of battery storage installed at 75 microgrids across the Latrobe Valley.
Ovida was awarded the grant funding for its $15.5 million project Solar Partnering Around Regional Communities, together with Moreland Energy Foundation, Allume Energy and RMIT University.
The development of new energy skills and technology in the Latrobe Valley has also been given a boost with three grants from the Labor Government’s Latrobe Valley New Energy Jobs Fund.
Federation Training will receive $8,000 to support local businesses by halving the cost of their solar PV installers course for October participants.
EnviroMicroBio Pty Ltd will receive $50,000 for new laboratory and analytical equipment to support local businesses wishing to explore anaerobic digestion for energy production and waste management.
Latrobe Valley Engineering Services and Sundermann Water Power will receive $48,400 for development of the Sundermann Water Turbine.
The investments come just weeks before Solar Victoria is due to open its base in Morwell, where a team of 15 will begin processing rebate applications.
Construction of the GovHub building at 65 Church Street will start later this year, creating 100 construction jobs and housing up to 300 workers when it is completed in 2020 – including up to 50 Solar Victoria workers.
As noted by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“We’re bringing more jobs to the Latrobe Valley and supporting local businesses – all while driving down energy bills and boosting the reliability of the local energy supply.”
“This microgrid program will ensure the Latrobe Valley is at the centre of the shift to renewable energy and lower emissions.”
As noted by Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“This microgrid project will create local jobs and boost our region’s economy.”
“We’re ensuring the Latrobe Valley remains an energy powerhouse, while helping to cut costs for local businesses.”