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VRET - a renewable energy jobs boom for Victoria says government

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio to announce the introduction of legislation for Victorian Renewable Energy Targets (VRET), the largest renewable energy auction in Australia and the awarding of contracts for two large-scale solar plants to power Melbourne’s tram network.

According to a statement, legislation to be introduced into the Parliament will set ambitious new renewable energy targets for Victoria of 25 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2025. It’s the first time such ambitious renewable energy targets have been enshrined in state legislation anywhere in Australia.

Importantly, the VRET will cut the average annual cost of power for Victorians by around AU$30 for households, AU$2 500 for “medium” businesses and AU$140 000 for large companies, while driving a 16 percent reduction in Victoria’s electricity sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2034-35.

The competitive VRET auction for up to 650 MW of renewable energy capacity will provide enough electricity to power 389 000 households – or enough energy to power Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley combined. This first auction is expected to bring forward up to AU$1.3 billion of investment and create 1 250 construction jobs over two years and 90 ongoing jobs.

More renewable energy means more jobs for Victorians – that’s why we’re setting these ambitious targets and promoting investment in this growing sector. Renewable energy creates jobs, drives growth, and protects our environment – and most importantly, helps drive down power prices for Victorian households and businesses, said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews.

The Labor Government also announced the winners of a tender to help build around 138 MW of new large-scale solar projects to power Melbourne’s tram network. Bannerton Solar Park near Robinvale in the Sunraysia district is expected to provide 100 MW of solar electricity, while the Numurkah Solar Farm near Shepparton is expected to generate 38 MW. This will bring forward an additional investment of AU$198 million and generate around 325 jobs in regional Victoria during construction.

The renewable energy sector will now have the confidence to invest in renewable energy projects and the jobs that are crucial to Victoria’s future. Government investment will be capped to ensure the best value for money for Victorian taxpayers, said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

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