Portland wind turbine tower manufacturer Keppel Prince has welcomed the Labor government’s election promise to lift the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) to 50 per cent by 2030.
Keppel Prince assistant general manager Daniel McKinna said Labor’s promise was “absolutely brilliant” and “really good news for our business.”
Keppel Prince, the principal wind turbine tower manufacturer in mainland Australia, has just spent $2.5 million doubling the production capacity of its Portland plant to handle an increase in tower orders.
Mr McKinna said the increase in orders had allowed the firm to hire another 61 workers this year, lifting its workforce to 340.
He said Labor’s promise meant the business could expand further if Labor was returned to power.
Keppel Prince currently has contracts to make tower sections for the Stockyard Hill and Lal Lal wind farms, both near Ballarat, and the Berrybank wind farm, east of Lismore.
A map of operational, under construction and approved but not constructed renewable energy projects in Victoria was released by Labor to promote its progress so far on its renewable energy target.
However it’s not yet know if any of the approved but not constructed projects are new or their approvals have already been announced.
National Wind Farm Commissioner Andrew Dyer said a lot of investment in wind energy had focused on the Macarthur, Mortlake and Hawkesdale areas because of their close connection to the electricity grid via the large transmission line that ran from the Latrobe Valley to Portland.
Mr Dyer said the grid might need to be reoriented to provide transmission lines that would allow the development of wind and solar resources in northern and north-western Victoria.
He said the government should avoid a cumulative effect on residents of having numerous wind farms in one area.