Victoria steps up renewables program

The Victorian government is setting a cracking pace rolling out a series of renewables projects. The master plan includes large-scale solar projects, a pilot project for solar battery storage kits, empowering local communities through energy efficiency upgrades, and more. The raft of initiatives pave the way for the state to reach its renewable energy generation targets of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025, and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The state government is investing in smart solutions to fast-track the rollout of large-scale renewable energy projects in Victoria, with $142,000 pledged for Solar engineering company Clean Technology Partners to develop an ‘e-cube’ that enables solar and wind projects to easily connect to the distribution network and will suit a range of system sizes, connection types, and network requirements

The $570,000 project will link the company with energy giant Siemens to develop a standardised grid connection solution which will facilitate quicker and more cost-efficient connections to Victoria’s power grid.

State Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio commented “This project is a fantastic example of how our $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund is creating more jobs and improving renewable energy capabilities.

“Renewables are the future of our energy generation and initiatives like make it easier to connect solar and wind projects of all sizes to the electricity grid. Easier connection points will further support the uptake of solar and wind projects.”

 The New Energy Jobs Fund offers grants of between $20,000 and $1 million to support projects that increase the uptake of renewable energy, reduce emissions, and assist community groups to develop their own project.

Round two of the New Energy Jobs Fund saw 21 successful projects receive more than $6.7 million in grants. For more information on the Fund visit http://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/future-industries/new-energy-technologies

 The Victorian government is channeling $825,000 towards a $6.17 million pilot project that will result in 200 solar storage energy control kits including software technology installed in residences, buildings and community facilities across Victoria to provide electricity during power outages.

Each kit will feature predictive weather control capabilities, allowing it to charge the battery before storms to ensure residences have adequate power for extended outages.

The consortium of five companies, led by innovation company ARVIO, include Selectronic Australia, Solar Station Alpha, Imark Communication and Diamond Energy

Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said “We’re excited to see how this pilot project can deliver better security and reliability for Victorians.”

Work on the project that falls under the second round of the New Energy Jobs Fund is expected to begin this September.

Headlining local news earlier this week was the $1 million to support the transition to a zero-emissions fleet of local government vehicles. Moreland City Council, in collaboration with hydrogen utility company H2U, has received funding to implement a renewable hydrogen refuelling station that will enable the council’s heavy vehicle fleet begin to transition to zero-emission Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles.

The $9.37 million project will establish Australia’s first commercial-scale hydrogen refuelling station, which will produce hydrogen from 100 per cent renewable energy using an on-site solar plant and grid-sourced wind power.

Construction of the refuelling station is expected to start early next year and be fully operational – including 12 zero-emission waste collection vehicles – by early 2020. The station will initially power the council’s waste collection vehicles, with the long-term aim of including its entire heavy fleet.

In another significant development, up to 1000 homes across Victoria will be able to lower their power bills through an investment in improved solar power monitoring technology which enables households to monitor electricity consumption and solar production in real time, as well as monitor and control battery use.

Energy software developer Geli Australia has received $850,000 to develop a monitoring and control system in the $3.18 million project. Geli will partner with Flextronics to locally manufacture and install the purpose built systems.

Participating households are expected to have their electricity bills reduced by up to 10 percent initially and will also be able to use the information provided by the system to decide whether energy storage is feasible, based on their electricity consumption.

Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said “This is a fantastic opportunity for Victorians to learn more about their energy consumption and the benefits that new energy technologies can provide.

“It’s like having an energy expert in your own home – households will receive vital information on their energy use and advice about improving efficiency, ultimately saving them money on their electricity bills.”

A reminder that the New Energy Jobs Fund offers grants of between $20,000 and $1 million to support new energy technology projects that will increase the uptake of renewable energy, reduce emissions, and assist community groups to develop their own projects.

For more information visit http://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/future-industries/new-energy-technologies