Wellington Shire Council is supporting the uptake of large-scale renewable energy across our region.
The state government has identified Gippsland as one of six Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) for Victoria, which will significantly increase investment into the region.
By working with state government, renewable energy developers and local industry, Council will help lead and support the development of reliable, clean energy resources for our community.
Governments use renewable energy zones as a planning tool to make sure that renewable energy production can be coordinated with transmission networks and energy demand. This ensures our electricity system is reliable, secure and developed at lowest possible cost.
Renewable Energy Zones attract investment in clean energy, which underpins the growth of new low carbon industries such as green hydrogen. In addition to creating jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, more renewable energy generation means lower power prices for households and business.
See here for more information on Renewable Energy Zones
Council developed the Renewable Energy (RE) Forum as a networking platform to facilitate, support and progress projects within our shire.
At this bi-monthly meeting, we discuss various issues, project updates, challenges and shared outcomes which include key stakeholders from offshore wind, onshore wind, solar, hydrogen, biomass and other renewable energy projects.
There are two objectives of the Forum:
2022 will see the RE Forum group work together to progress tangible outcomes for the sector, advocate for legislation/GREZ, tap into local supply value chains and ensure our skills and training providers are delivering courses that are led by industry demand.
Should you wish to participate in the Wellington Renewable Energy Forum, please contact our Economic Development team for invitation details.
On 21 March 2023 Council adopted the Wellington Renewable Energy Impact and Readiness Study (the ‘Study’)
The purpose of the Study was to undertake a stocktake of planned renewable energy investment in the Wellington Shire (and broader Gippsland area) and to provide an analysis of labour demand, supply chain considerations, infrastructure needs and residential and industrial land needs (with a focus on land use implications for Yarram and surrounds).
The Study assists with positioning the Wellington Shire (and the broader Gippsland region) to transition to renewable energy and to maximise social and economic benefits from more than $40 billion of planned investment.
The Study highlights the State and National significance of planned renewable energy investment which will require a coordinated Government response.
The Study identifies that the main ‘levers’ for Council to influence the transition to renewable energy are via advocacy to other levels of Government; regional partnerships and coordination including with other Local Government authorities/agencies; planning actions at the local level (particularly in terms of residential and industrial land supply in Yarram and Sale); economic development actions; and supporting community. Other Study findings and recommended actions apply to a broad range of other stakeholders, such as training and education providers.
It is noted that the Study provides a general summary and analysis of planned renewable energy investment based on information available in 2022.
It is also important to recognise that individual renewable energy projects remain subject to relevant consultation and Government approval processes, whereby specific project impacts will need to be further assessed on a ‘case by case’ basis in accordance with statutory requirements.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is the responsible authority for new planning permit applications for all energy generation facilities that are 1 megawatt or greater. Local government remains responsible for permit applications under 1MW.
For further information on applications currently under assessment by DELWP please visit Browse Ministerial Permits.
Wellington Shire Council, in partnership with the Latrobe Valley Authority has developed a framework to support industry to build capability in initiating, developing or investing in biomass to energy projects in Gippsland.
The guide provides tools and resources to assist Gippsland based communities and industries to methodically step through four discreet phases of a successful bioenergy project. Bioenergy projects require careful research, preparation and adherence to a number of planning and environmental regulations.
For further support or information please contact our Sustainability Project Officer.
Gippsland Bioenergy Project Development Framework documents