Published on April 12th, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill0
Victorian Government To Invest $1 Million Into Regional Renewable Energy Development
April 12th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill
The Victorian Labor Government has announced it will commit $1 million in funding to establish a series of community hubs to drive renewable energy projects in regional Victoria, while also exploring the renewable energy potential of empty mine shafts in the state’s center.
An announcement made on Wednesday by the state’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, by the Andrews Labor Government, will see a total of $900,000 committed for three, two-year pilot Community Power Hubs in the towns of Bendigo, Ballarat, and the Latrobe Valley region. The community-owned and operated hubs would aim to drive investment into regional Victoria renewable energy projects, create jobs, and help reduce electricity bills. The hubs would also provide legal and technical expertize, as well as start-up funding.
An additional $100,000 has been committed to a feasibility study into the renewable energy potential of empty mine shafts in Bendigo. A further $50,000 will be provided to the City of Greater Bendigo to support the study, which will specifically investigate the potential of using solar powered pumped hydro to generate and store electricity in mine shafts which have long been empty. Early calculations already suggest that such a project could generate up to 784 kilowatt-hours, while simultaneously boosting the reliability of the local electricity grid, creating much-needed local jobs, and supporting the growth of local businesses.
“Interest in community energy projects has increased significantly over the years, with communities wanting greater control over their energy and associated costs,” said Lily D’Ambrosio. “Solar pumped hydro has the potential to store and generate significant amounts of energy. This feasibility study is the first key step towards realising the benefits of solar pumped hydro for the Bendigo region.”
Image Credit: Darren Howe