Victoria’s first solar farm wholly owned and operated by an Aboriginal Corporation has received one of five grants supporting community-led renewable energy generation across the Gippsland and Latrobe Valley region.
Yesterday, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, announced that five local community groups will share more than $1 million in grants through the Latrobe Valley Energy and Growth Program, which empowers communities to take control of energy costs, support local jobs and reduce emissions.
Successful groups from the first round of funding include Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation with $1 million for construction of a 4.9-megawatt solar farm and $26,000 to install solar on the Heyfield and District Museum, Coongulla Community Hall, Heyfield Golf Club and Heyfield Tennis Club.
The Ramahyuck solar farm will be the first on Aboriginal-owned land in Victoria, empowering the local Aboriginal community to achieve self-determination by developing their own renewable energy generation.
It is expected to create at least 40 jobs during construction and 14 ongoing roles, as well as create an income stream for the corporation.
Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett, welcomed the news, stating: “I am delighted to see Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation get support for the first solar farm on Aboriginal-owned land in Victoria – a project that means self-determination on renewable energy and jobs for the community.”
Minister D’Ambrosio added: “Helping industry and community groups achieve affordable reliable power now and into the future is more important than ever – this funding helps to deliver that – creating jobs and stimulating the economy.”
The Minister has also launched stage two of the program which will provide $1.98 million for new renewable energy projects in the Latrobe City, Baw Baw Shire, and Wellington Shire area.
Funding will be provided for innovative projects that capitalise on the renewable energy potential of the Valley and provide long-term benefits to the community.
Round two applications close on 30 November 2021. To apply, visit: www.energy.vic.gov.au/new-energy-technologies