Today the federal Albanese and Victorian Andrews governments have announced a landmark energy deal that will rapidly accelerate the state’s renewable energy transition and help kickstart offshore wind.
The $2.25 billion deal will finance the creation of six “renewable energy zones” to connect new wind and solar projects to the grid, including offshore wind off the coast of Gippsland.
Environment group Friends of the Earth welcomes the announcement, saying its a critical step forward that will unlock new renewable energy supply, and make deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions as coal fired power stations retire.
“After years of delay it's good to see governments getting directly involved in developing the grid, and working together to fix the energy system, deliver cheaper power and act on the climate crisis,” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.
The announcement comes just two weeks after big power company AGL announced it will close the Loy Yang A coal fired power station by 2035.
“As energy companies bring forward closure dates for coal generators, the need to build new renewable energy supply and connect it all to the grid is only becoming more urgent” said Wendy Farmer, Friends of the Earth’s Gippsland Community Organiser.
“By bringing the pieces of the energy transformation puzzle together, state and federal governments are creating certainty and new opportunities for regions like Gippsland” added Farmer.
The news builds momentum for the Star of the South, which is the most advanced offshore wind proposal in the country and has captured the imagination of communities in Gippsland.
To make this transformation a success, it is essential new energy projects deliver real community benefits, genuine engagement with First Nations communities and strong protections for the environment.
Friends of the Earth will be closely following the state and federal governments next steps on Rewiring the Nation, and working with communities to make sure their hopes and aspirations are met in the energy transformation.
Pat Simons, Yes2Renewables Coordinator | [email protected] | 0415 789 961
Wendy Farmer, Gippsland Community Organiser | [email protected] | 0408 261 551