The project provides a range of benefits for all Victorians including lower electricity prices, improved energy security and increased economic activity. In western Victoria, we consulted with the local community to determine a range of benefit sharing programs which address key social, economic and environmental needs in the region. Planned programs include a community fund, training and skills development programs and building energy resilience by providing in-kind contributions to community energy projects.
Benefits for all Victorians including lower electricity prices, improved energy security and increased economic activity.
Local jobs, local goods and services
There will be employment opportunities created for local communities with an estimated 300 jobs during construction and where practicable, we will use local goods and services, including accommodation, cafes and restaurants.
We are establishing a Community Fund with the aim of enabling local not-for-profit groups, organisations and projects to make a positive long-term contribution to the communities within the project area.
The guidelines for grant applications are currently under development, however, the fund will be made available for the construction period of the project. Applications to the fund will be assessed by a group with representation from the community, local councils and AusNet Services.
The project will bring many direct opportunities for employment to western Victoria both during the construction phase and ongoing operations.
Flow-on employment benefits will be generated as the project brings demand for local and regional business services and goods. These include:
- Transport operators.
- Concrete suppliers.
- Civil works.
- Accommodation and hospitality.
The project will employ 300 people over the two-year construction period. Our economic assessment has found that the Western Renewables Link will provide more than 1000 indirect jobs resulting from construction.
We are working with local community groups from the project area who want to introduce renewables or innovative energy initiatives such as solar, batteries, microgrids, Virtual Power Plants and electric vehicle infrastructure to build energy resilience, and lower electricity prices, locally.
We can use our technical experience and industry knowledge to assist through in-kind support.
To date we have:
- Helped a local group create a feasibility study so they could apply for ARENA's Regional microgrid grant.
- Devised renewable energy strategies.
- Provided insight and education on various renewable energy solutions.
If you are a community in the project area and are thinking about a Community Energy Project and would like to find out if you’re eligible for in-kind support, contact the project team on 1300 360 795 or [email protected].