The state government is looking for hundreds more megawatts of renewable energy generation, and western Victoria could be the place to find it.
Another Renewable Energy Target auction could be held, depending on feedback from a market sounding exercise - the last one in 2017, which aimed for 650MW, resulted in 928MW and millions of dollars in investment, according to a state government media release.
A renewed investment push could lead to a renewable energy-led economic recovery for the state, and particularly in regional areas.
Grampians New Energy Taskforce chair Stuart Benjamin welcomed the news.
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"The auctions are an incredibly efficient way to get the maximum benefit for taxpayer money, and we expect (a second round) to achieve similar results," he said.
"There's more time for this round, which will give operators and developers extra time to put together strong financial packages - then the benefit is, it helps underpin viability of projects, allowing developers to go to financiers and say we've already forward sold 20 or 30 per cent of our energy, and that gives lenders incredible confidence in the projects."
He pointed to the Berrybank and Dundonnell wind farms, between Ballarat and Warrnambool, as proof of the previous scheme's success.
The state government's plan will also counter fears of a slowing pipeline of new projects - the Golden Plains Wind Farm at Rokewood is perhaps the largest project in the district yet to begin construction, but no others will come online between 2022 and 2025, according to Environment Victoria.
Chief executive Jono La Nauze said in a statement the announcement was "essential".
"The Andrews government's first Victorian Renewable Energy Target auction supported over 1500 jobs in regional Victoria and resulted in the Geelong Ford Factory being repurposed to make parts for wind turbines," he said.
"The local content requirements that can come with government tenders are also a boon for local supply chain manufacturers."
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Mr Benjamin concurred - he added it would also provide more support for the proposed Asia Pacific Renewable Energy Training Centre in Ballarat.
"We continue to import highly skilled employees from not only outside the region but outside the country," he said.
"COVID-19 makes that even more difficult and underpins the business case for training Australians for these highly technical jobs."
There are still problems to be solved, particularly in the transmission network, though he said he was confident the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project, which involves building new high-voltage powerlines, will address this.
The new plan will also include an opportunity to "explore the potential for electricity-reliant industries and businesses to buy renewable energy along with government through this process," according to the state government media release.
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"Foods manufacturing needs high energy for heat and steam or microwave tech, and the best way to generate that is through renewable resources," Mr Benjamin said.
"The very nature of renewable projects is they're always in agricultural areas, so the ability to co-locate high energy consumption businesses, everything from refrigerated warehousing to commercial laundromats, at the source of production is very attractive.
"GNeT's working on that, we've got active plans in that space."
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