Construction for the Bulgana Green Power Hub has began, a month later than planned.
The hub will be an integrated wind farm and battery storage facility for the company’s largest single-stage project in Australia.
At the peak of construction the facility will create up to 230 jobs.
Northern Grampians Shire mayor Tony Driscoll said “the Bulgana Green Power Hub is going to provide hundreds of jobs, so it’s certainly going to boost the local economy”.
The hub is estimated to create a total of 1300 jobs, including 270 direct ongoing jobs in the agricultural sector and 10 direct ongoing jobs in the renewable energy industry.
The construction of the hub is expected to be completed by August 2019.
A 15-year agreement has been met between the state Labor government and Neoen Australia for the hub.
Cr Driscoll said “we think the ongoing benefits to the community are going to be tenfold for years to come”.
The project will help the Labor government to meet their greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets of 15 to 20 per cent by 2020.
Neoen Australia managing director Franck Woitiez “there’s not a state in Australia that is more convinced that coal is dead, with the closure of Hazelwood Power Station.
“That means coal is not competitive anymore. Renewable and sustainable energy will become cheap, reliable and dispatchable thanks to the storage systems.”
Mr Woitiez also added Neoen “will continue to work closely with the council, neighbours and community at large and ensure any disruptions as a result of construction are kept to the absolute minimum”.
Cr Driscoll said the Northern Grampians Shire has been working on the project for two to three years.
With this project ““the environment wins, business wins and the community wins”.
The hub has also established a community fund. The $120,000 per annum fund will be open to the community for 25 years, for projects that align with the hubs values.