Premier Daniel Andrews and Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio announced Victoria’s first successful renewable energy auction projects during a visit to Ararat.
The auction, part of the Victorian Renewable Energy Targets, were initially expected to deliver at least 650 megawatts of renewable energy.
The goal was exceeded, with the auction instead delivering 928 megawatts of renewable energy – almost 45 per cent more power than originally anticipated.
These targets seek to ensure that 25 per cent of the state’s electricity generation comes from renewable sources by 2020, rising to 40 per cent by 2025.
The winning projects are the Berrybank Wind Farm west of Geelong, Cawarp Solar Farm south of Mildura, Cohuna Solar Farm north-west of Echuca, Dundonnell Wind Farm north-east of Warrnambool, Mortlake South Wind Farm south of Mortlake and Winton Solar Farm near Benalla.
“Renewable energy creates jobs, drives growth, and protects our environment – and most importantly, helps drive down power prices for Victorian households and businesses,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
The state government released figures showing the projects will deliver enough electricity to power 646,273 households.
“It’s simple – greater supply of renewable energy means lower power prices and more jobs for Victorian families,” Mr Andrews said.
Although planning permits were already approved for some projects Mr Andrews said without the auction process these projects “would not have gone ahead”.
“If you give industry certainty and face up to the important reality that the climate is changing... this is the future,” he said.
Mr Andrews took the opportunity to readdress the Solar Homes initiative during his press conference.
The $40 million program is part of Labor’s new Solar Homes initiative, which pledges to cut electricity bills.
The program includes half-price solar panels for 650,000 households, $1000 off the cost of solar hot water with rebates for 60,000 homes and half-price solar batteries for 10,000 households that already have solar panels across the next 10 years.