Newstead will become Victoria’s first town to run on 100 per cent renewables with the help of a $200,000 Andrews Labor Government grant announced today by Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio.
The funding will help local group Newstead 2021 develop and implement a model for supplying the town’s homes and businesses with 100 per cent renewable energy from a community-scale grid.
The model will incorporate community ownership and balance commercial viability with social equity through low prices and price protections for Newstead residents who are vulnerable to rising energy costs.
Newstead 2021 has been exploring options for transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy by undertaking household energy assessments and retrofits, conducting feasibility studies into various renewable energy supply options and preparing a technical paper on Newstead becoming an energy self-sufficient micro-grid.
The Labor Government is currently preparing a Victorian Renewable Energy Action Plan, which will outline a comprehensive set of measures to attract Victoria’s share of the $36 billion of investment in renewable energy forecast to occur in Australia by 2020.
After the previous Coalition Government crippled the renewable energy industry, work has already started on reviving renewable energy development in Victoria.
The Government is also supporting the wind energy industry by reducing the exclusion zone to one kilometre around wind farms, paving the way for more projects that will create jobs and generate investment.
It is also creating a $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund, which will offer grants to companies and community groups developing renewable energy projects.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio
“The Andrews Labor Government is working with the Newstead community to help them achieve their goal of moving to renewable energy.”
“By reducing reliance on coal-fired power and cutting their carbon footprint, Newstead residents will help to inspire others in regional Victoria and beyond to move to renewables.”
“We are protecting our environment, supporting new industries and creating Victorian jobs.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards
“Newstead was ignored by the previous Liberal Government for four years, so I’m pleased that this funding will help the community to start work on achieving their goal.”
“Newstead will be a leading example of what can be achieved when locals and government work together.”