Former Ford Motor site reopens as wind turbine manufacturer hub

The Vestas Renewable Energy Hub (VREH) is now officially open, with wind turbine components being assembled at the former Ford Motors site in Geelong.

Over 20 workers are now on site assembling 100 turbine hubs and 50 drive trains for the 180MW Berrybank Wind Farm and the 336MW Dundonnell Wind Farm.

The two new wind farm developments are currently under construction and are supported by the State Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target Reverse Auction.

Along with the assembly work, the VREH is investing $3.5 million on a range of initiatives to plan for the future of the wind industry – including a 700 square-metre Service, Logistics and Training Centre in Grovedale that will service the growing turbine fleet across Western Victoria and house major wind turbine components.

Hundreds of local staff will also be trained in wind turbine maintenance through a partnership with Federation University, while a research partnership with Deakin University will look at further development of carbon fibre for wind turbine blades to be more productive.

The world-leading wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, has partnered with Geelong-based Marand Precision Engineering to establish the VREH and provide a local workforce.

The development of the VREH will assist Dundonnell Wind Farm and Berrybank Wind Farm deliver their local content commitments through the Victorian Industry Participation Policy, supporting local jobs.

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said, “The production line at the old Ford factory is humming again, creating local jobs and building our energy future.

“It’s the first-time wind turbines have been assembled in Australia in more than a decade and they’re being built right here in Geelong – supporting local workers, businesses and the community.”

State Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “Our Renewable Energy Target has given solar and wind companies all around the world the confidence to invest in our state – generating not just energy, but more jobs and economic opportunities for local communities.”

Member for South Barwon, Darren Cheeseman, said, “This is an exciting day for Geelong as we breathe new life back into the old Ford factory and help our state transition to a cleaner energy future.”

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