Council push to power up renewable energy growth in the Mallee
Published on 27 February 2018
Mildura Rural City Council’s newly formed Renewable Energy Committee (REC) met for the first time this month, paving the way for a sharper focus on renewable energy in the Mallee.
Mildura Mayor Mark Eckel said the committee would work to further enhance both large and small-scale solar investment in the region.
The committee is chaired by Councillor Jason Modica and comprises CEO Gerard José, General Manager Community Martin Hawson, managers of Council’s Development and Community Futures departments, Councillors Glen Milne and Anthony Cirillo, and Mildura Regional Development CEO Daryl Buckingham.
Cr Modica said one of the overarching goals of the new committee was to help the Mallee reach its potential as a centre for solar energy generation.
“Of course, going hand-in-hand with that charter is to lobby for a deeper look at grid infrastructure to support an increase in solar energy projects, which will ultimately benefit the entire community,” he said.
“Other goals of the new committee include working with State and Federal Governments to seek greater recognition of our region as one of Australia’s, if not the world’s, most suitable areas for solar energy production.”
Cr Modica said the Mallee could play a pivotal role in Australia’s shift away from traditional energy to renewables.
“There is just so much potential for renewable energy in the Mallee, which our country will become increasingly reliant on as we transition away from coal dependence, in line with renewable technology continuing to be more diverse, cheaper and accessible,” he said.
Other areas to be explored by the REC include the potential for battery technology and energy storage in the Mallee and the important role community groups and small business could play in the region’s solar energy future.
Cr Eckel said it was an exciting time for the Mallee, with a host of major solar project developers lining up to build in the region.
“They’ve seen the potential in our region and we’re certainly keen to work with them,” he said.
The Mayor said the REC represented a concerted effort by Council to encourage renewable energy development and realise the Mallee’s potential to become Australia’s solar capital.
“We look forward to hearing reports from this working group on innovative and exciting options for the way forward,” he said.
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