Thursday, 8 February 2018

Communities in Victoria’s major regional centres are working with the Victorian Government to develop locally owned and cost effective renewable energy projects.

Groups in Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley region have launched a new website today outlining the projects they are investigating as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Community Power Hubs pilot program.

The community-owned and operated hubs will drive investment into regional Victoria, create jobs and help reduce electricity bills.

Community energy projects are initiated, developed and controlled at a local level with the benefits staying in the region.

The pilot community power hubs aim to have at least one flagship project ready for implementation in each regional within two years, and at least three more in the pipeline.

Projects now being investigated in the Latrobe Valley include the:

• Latrobe City Council, Wellington and Baw Baw Shire Councils are working together on a range of project options which could include developing a bulk buy project potentially including solar      panels, batteries and high efficiency hot water services;
• work to offset rising electricity costs at a community-owned facility that provides accommodation for patients and families of people needing to visit a major regional hospital; and
• development of a proposal to install a microgrid at a residential aged care and independent living accommodation facility.

Supporting community energy projects is just one of the ways the Victorian Government is working to transition to a low carbon, renewable energy future.

For more information visit: www.communitypowerhub.com.au/

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing:

“The Community Power Hubs website will help businesses, service providers and local communities to get the information they need about the range of projects being considered in our region.”

“I would encourage groups to contact the Latrobe Valley hub and find out more about projects to develop community energy and the many ways that it can help to reduce energy consumption, save money and drive local innovation.”

Quotes attributable to Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub representative, Cr Darren McCubbin:

“For us, contributing to meeting Victoria’s renewable energy targets is very important and the Latrobe region has tremendous opportunities to develop thanks to our highly-skilled workforce.”

“I think this could become one of the most important platforms for communities in Victoria to move towards a renewable energy systems.”