Renewable fund boost

Michelle Slater

Latrobe Valley renewable energy initiatives got a boost with a share in $160,000 in grants from a Latrobe Valley New Energy Fund to allow local businesses to grow their ideas.

Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio was in Morwell yesterday announcing funding for four local businesses to develop projects for new energy technologies.

Recipients included Earthworker Cooperative to manufacture energy efficient systems, a solar farm feasibility study for Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation, and for Edge Energy Solutions to trial behind the meter energy generation.

The Minister visited Alternate Energy Innovations, which plans to build an 18-metre high, five kilowatt wind turbine at its factory to generate power and conduct training and demonstrations.

She said the scheme had been so successful there were more applicants than available funds.

“This goes to show the Latrobe Valley is a great place for ideas, great innovation, great capability for skills and a willingness to develop further jobs,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“I’m so excited this new energy fund has really transformed so many businesses and organisations in the Valley, providing new opportunities, which is so critical to maintaining and growing communities.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said the Latrobe Valley was in the “box seat” to take advantage of innovation from new energy technologies.

“Transition of our energy system, whether it’s in Victoria or in other states is happening. We want to make sure communities are at the forefront to take full advantage of this transition,” she said.

“The Latrobe Valley is at the centre of all opportunities to transition to clean energy, and the economic and job opportunities that come with that.”

Alternative Energy Solutions engineering manager Steve Soutar said the company was developed 12 months ago with a focus on providing Gippsland farmers with energy-efficient systems.