Solar Farm, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

The Victorian Government has announced that its seven Community Power Hubs have so far provided 0.75MW of renewable energy to local communities and businesses in regional Victoria.

The Hubs are having an exponential impact with 19 projects across the state having benefitting over 80,000 Victorians.

Cost savings will fund the development and delivery of more community energy projects in the region and amplify the emission reductions achieved.

The seven Community Power Hubs are funded as part of the Victorian Government’s $1.6 billion clean energy package, and include two in metropolitan Melbourne and one in each of the regions of Hume, Grampians, Loddon Mallee, Barwon South West and Gippsland.

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the Community Power Hubs are creating jobs across the state, driving regional investment, and cutting energy bills as Victoria works to halve emissions by 2030.

“From coal to solar – Bendigo Woollen Mills tells the story of this state’s switch to renewables. Our community-owned and operated Hubs are bringing local renewable energy projects to life across Victoria, having an exponential impact on businesses and whole communities,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

Thanks to the program, the Bendigo Woollen Mills – a historic coal-fired power station and Australia’s largest manufacturer and distributor of knitting yarn – is now generating clean energy.

Through the Loddon Mallee Community Power Hub, the Government invested $128,000 to install a 96kW solar system of 214 rooftop solar panels at the historic site.

The new solar power system is helping the Woollen Mill save on energy costs. Savings will be used to repay the cost of the solar system to the Loddon Mallee Community Power Hub.

The Bendigo Woollen Mills project is one of five in the region, which include installing solar systems at the Echuca Neighbourhood House, Hazeldenes poultry and processing facilities at Laanecoorie and Bald Hills, and the Mildura South Sporting Precinct.

Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, said, “We’re helping local businesses reduce their ongoing energy bills and carbon emissions, with the financial benefits staying in the community.”   

The Community Power Hubs also provide their local communities with advice and ideas about how businesses and community organisations can become more energy efficient.

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