The Victorian government has announced the introduction of legislation for Victorian Renewable Energy Targets (VRET), and has awarded contracts for two large-scale solar plants to power Melbourne’s tram network.
Legislation to be introduced into the Parliament this week will set ambitious new renewable energy targets for Victoria of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.
It’s the first time such ambitious renewable energy targets have been enshrined in legislation anywhere in Australia.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio on Wednesday to announce the introduction of legislation for Victorian Renewable Energy Targets (VRET), the largest renewable energy auction in Australia and the awarding of contracts for two large-scale solar plants to power Melbourne’s tram network.
Importantly, the VRET will cut the average cost of power for Victorians by around $30 a year for households, $2,500 a year for medium businesses and $140,000 a year for large companies, while driving a 16 per cent reduction in Victoria’s electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2034-35.
The competitive VRET auction for up to 650 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity will provide enough electricity to power 389,000 households – or enough energy to power Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley combined.
This first auction is expected to bring forward up to $1.3 billion of investment and create 1,250 construction jobs over two years and 90 ongoing jobs.
The government also announced the winners of a tender to help build around 138 MW of new large scale solar projects to power Melbourne’s tram network.
Bannerton Solar Park near Robinvale in the Sunraysia district is expected to provide 100 MW of solar powered electricity, while the Numurkah Solar Farm near Shepparton is expected to generate 38 MW.
This will bring forward an additional investment of $198 million and generate around 325 jobs in regional Victoria during construction.
Premier Andrews said, “More renewable energy means more jobs for Victorians – that’s why we’re setting these ambitious targets and promoting investment in this growing sector.”
“Renewable energy creates jobs, drives growth, and protects our environment – and most importantly, helps drive down power prices for Victorian households and businesses.”
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