Renewable energy is driving new manufacturing jobs in Geelong, with wind turbine components now being assembled at the new Vestas Renewable Energy Hub on the former Ford site.
The Advanced Fibre Cluster has identified the Energy sector as a growing opportunity for advanced fibre composite innovation. Growing demand for increased energy output from wind turbines has led to an increasing use of carbon fibre in the manufacture of turbines and rotor blades. Lighter and stiffer carbon fibre reinforcement means larger dimensions are possible for both land-based and offshore wind systems.
The wind energy industry is the fastest growing renewable energy source in many countries and is expected to continue to grow rapidly over the period to 2030.
Production of wind energy is largely concentrated in Europe and the United States. However, there has also been rapid growth in the wind energy industries in China and India. At the end of 2018, there were 94 wind farms in Australia, delivering nearly 6 GW of wind generation capacity. In 2019 in Victoria, there were 25 operating wind farms with capacity to deliver 1.7 GW of power. More than 20 new farms were approved or under construction. See our Industry Sectors for more
Vestas Renewable Energy Hub creates jobs
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio officially opened the Vestas Renewable Energy Hub (VREH) on 26 September – the first-time wind turbines have been assembled in Australia for more than 10 years.
Over 20 workers are now on site assembling 100 turbine hubs and 50 drive trains for the 180 megawatt Berrybank Wind Farm and the 336 megawatt Dundonnell Wind Farm.
The two new wind farm developments are currently under construction and are supported by the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target Reverse Auction.
Along with the assembly work, the VREH is investing $3.5 million on a range of initatives to plan for the future of the wind industry – including a 700 square-metre Service, Logistics and Training Centre in Grovedale that will service the growing turbine fleet across Western Victoria and house major wind turbine components.
Hundreds of local staff will also be trained in wind turbine maintenance through a partnership with Federation University, while a research partnership with Deakin University will look at further development of carbon fibre for wind turbine blades to be more productive.
The world-leading wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, has partnered with Geelong-based Marand Precision Engineering to establish the VREH and provide a local workforce.
The development of the VREH will assist Dundonnell Wind Farm and Berrybank Wind Farm deliver their local content commitments through the Victorian Industry Participation Policy, supporting local jobs.