A massive expansion of Nectar Farms, powered by wind energy, will see more than 1300 new jobs created in western Victoria.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had been formalised for the $565 million project, which will build a huge wind farm with battery storage to power the expansion of Nectar Farms.
The development is currently undertaking Stage 1 of the major project, which will use the latest hydroponic glasshouse and plant technology to create a 10 hectare state-of-the-art facility.
Nectar Farms is now looking to start work on the $215 million Stage 2 of their expansion plans, which will develop a further 30 hectares, creating 250 ongoing jobs and 300 direct and indirect construction jobs.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the announcement was a great one for jobs, the environment and Victoria.
“This project will make Stawell Nectar Farms the world’s first ever protected crop farm completely powered by renewable energy,” he said.
The co-located 196MW Bulgana Green Power Hub backed up by a 20MW battery will provide the secure and affordable energy Nectar Farms needs for its hydroponic greenhouses.
Adding to the wind farm building blitz in Western Victoria, the 56 turbine $350 million wind farm is expected to create another 800 direct and indirect jobs during construction, with a further 19 ongoing once built.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the world first proposal was an exciting development for the region.
“It’s an exciting proposal that shows how renewable energy can unlock opportunities for large, energy intensive businesses, to create jobs and build a better future for regional communities,” she said.
“We’re delivering affordable, secure and clean energy, which is powering new jobs right across our state.”