Vestas, the producer of high-tech wind power systems, this week launched an advertising campaign to highlight the potential for new clean energy jobs being created in rural and regional Australia.
Work is currently underway on three new wind farms in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria using Vestas wind turbines, but the company is pushing for the Australian Parliament to introduce a price on carbon pollution so that the switch to clean energy occurs even faster.
“Vestas provides skilled workers with training opportunities to transform traditional job skills into the new green jobs of the future,” says Jorn Hammer, MD of Vestas Australia.
“The best thing about the wind energy industry is that most of these new jobs are being created in rural and regional communities, which diversifies the local economy and gives opportunities to local businesses,” Mr Hammer said.
In the past year, Vestas has secured major contracts to build the 111 megawatt (MW) Waterloo wind farm in mid-north South Australia, the 206 MW Collgar wind farm in Western Australia’s wheat belt, and recently signed a contract with AGL and Meridian Energy to build the 420 MW Macarthur wind farm in south-west Victoria in conjunction with Leighton Contractors.
For each project Vestas has hired new employees and is also using a number of local businesses for sub-contracting work during the construction stage. We have already hired 76 people over the past 12 months and are set to employ even more.
In addition to direct jobs created by Vestas, a number of indirect jobs can be attributed to the company’s growing presence in Australia, including construction jobs involved in building the wind farms and related services in areas such as security, sanitation and maintenance, food and beverage supply, and travel and accommodation.
The Waterloo project has created almost 100 new jobs, the Collgar project is on track to create up to 150 new jobs, while the Macarthur project is forecast to employ up to 400 people directly and lead to a further 800 indirect jobs.
The Australian Government’s 20% Renewable Energy Target has been a key driver behind these three projects, but a price on carbon pollution will accelerate this economic growth and job creation.
“The next Australian Parliament can help create even more new jobs by supporting a price on carbon pollution and helping Australia to make the switch to clean energy,” according to Sean Sutton, President of Vestas Asia Pacific.
“Local communities in Australia should use the post-election opportunity to voice their support through their local Members of Parliament for a price on carbon pollution so we can keep investing in wind power in rural and regional areas and build the power stations of the future,” he said.