New Energy Jobs Fund offers up to $3M is available for companies specialising in high-growth renewable sectors such as new energy technology.
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New Enery Jobs Fund
The New Energy Jobs Fund is an initiative under the Future Industries Fund supports high growth, as part of the Victorian Government’s Back to Work Plan to create 100,000 jobs and get Victoria back to work.
The Future Industries Fund identifies six sectors which have strong growth potential, including:
- medical technologies and pharmaceuticals;
- new energy technology;
- food and fibre;
- transport, defence and construction technologies;
- international education; and
- professional services.
Climate change is one of the most critical issues facing Victoria, and the Government must play a role to help mitigate the risks and adopt adaptation strategies to respond to the threat. The Victorian Government wants to restore Victoria’s status as a model for every other state.
Victoria can lead the world in wind energy creating thousands of jobs, powering our homes and improving our environment.
A 2012 SKM study found that one 25-turbine wind farm alone would directly employ up to 48 construction workers and five ongoing staff. Importantly, each worker will spend about $25,000 in the local area in shops, restaurants, hotels and other services.
This leads to indirect employment during the construction phase of approximately 160 people locally, 504 state jobs and 795 nationwide jobs.
The New Energy Jobs Fund assists Victorian based new energy technology projects that:
- Create long-term sustainable jobs
- Drive economic development
- Increase community participation
- Increase the uptake of renewable energy generation
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Drive innovation in new energy technologies
- Build new energy technology capability and capacity in the state
The New Energy Jobs Fund will support generation projects that deliver energy from renewable sources only.
The New Energy Jobs Fund offers grants ranging from $50,000 to $1M. Projects under the Community category are able to apply for funding of up to $100,000 for the development of a business case or up to $1M for project implementation and advisory services. Under exceptional circumstances, grants of up to $2M may be considered. Such projects would need to clearly demonstrate exceptional merit and benefit to the State to warrant consideration.
Funding to support new energy technology projects will be available through three annual grant rounds.
The New Energy Jobs Fund is available to support projects in the following four categories:
1. Community: will support both the development of new energy or renewable energy project business cases and implementation of projects for the benefit of local communities, including through co-operatives or social enterprise organisations. It will also support the establishment or expansion of services to advise consumers, communities and businesses on best practice design and implementation of new energy projects.
2. Manufacturing: will support the manufacture of new energy technology components/systems.
3. Technology: will support private industry to optimise, adapt or integrate commercially-available new energy technologies (including advanced metering infrastructure).
4. Energy Storage: will support the advancement of energy storage technologies and trials (e.g. solar storage neighbourhood precincts, or new models of financing deployment of storage devices), which will encourage the increased uptake of renewable energy
Applicants must also be able to demonstrate they can meet the following criteria:
- the Project must take place in Victoria;
- the Project activities for which funding is sought have not previously been funded by the Commonwealth or Victorian Governments;
- the technology proposed for the Project is commercially-ready new energy technology; and
- the Lead Organisation and any Participants must not have any unresolved issues with the Environment Protection Agency or WorkSafe Victoria.
To be eligible for consideration under the New Energy Jobs Fund, applicants must satisfy all of the Mandatory Eligibility Requirements below. Provision of supporting information may be required.
Applications are open to a broad range of organisations and can include single entities or a consortium of Participants. However all Applications, whether single entities or a consortium, must nominate a ‘Lead Organisation’ to:
- endorse the Application;
- verify any commitment of funds for the Project; and
- be authorised to enter into a Funding Agreement with the State if successful.
The New Energy Jobs Fund application must be approved by a duly authorised representative of the Lead Organisation. The requirements around the legal status of the Lead Organisation depend on the relevant Program category.
Individuals are not eligible to apply as a Lead Organisation under the Program.
Lead Organisation requirements: Manufacturing, Technology and Energy Storage categories
Under the Manufacturing, Technology and Energy Storage Program categories, the Lead Organisation must:
- be either:
- incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001; or
- an ‘owners corporation’ within the meaning of the Owners Corporation Act 2006 (energy storage category only);
- have an Australian Business Number;
- be able to demonstrate that either the Lead Organisation or the Lead Organisation’s parent company has at least three years’ operating history by way of financial reports (which shall preferably be audited); and
Participants (as a part of a consortium) do not have to meet the Lead Organisation requirements above.
Lead Organisation requirements: Community category
Under the Community category, only not-for-profit organisations will be entitled to apply as the Lead Organisation. For this category, the Department requires Projects to be driven and managed by the community, with the community benefiting from the outcome.
An organisation is only eligible to apply as a Lead Organisation under the Community category if the organisation:
- is a not-for-profit organisation (refer Program Frequently Asked Questions);
- operates in Victoria;
- is either:
- registered in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001;
- incorporated as an association under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012;
- incorporated as a co-operative under the Co-operatives National Law Application Act 2013;
- a ‘Council’ within the meaning of the Local Government Act 1989;
- a committee of management incorporated under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978; or
- an ‘owners corporation’ within the meaning of the Owners Corporation Act 2006 (but only where the Lead Organisation is not a Community-Based Organisation);
- has an Australian Business Number;
- is able to demonstrate that either the Lead Organisation or the Lead Organisation’s parent company has at least three years operating history; and
- is able to provide three years of financial reports (preferably audited) for the Lead Organisation or the Lead Organisation’s parent company. The Department may request, during the Assessment Process, that unaudited financial reports be audited and resubmitted.
Participants (as part of a consortium) do not have to meet the Lead Organisation requirements above.
Businesses operating for profit are not eligible to apply under the Community category as a Lead Organisation, but may be eligible to be Participants.
Based on the timing of the previous round Bulletpoint would suggest the indicative timing for Round 3 of the New Energy Jobs Fund:
- Round 3 applications open – 12 December 2017
- Round 3 applications close – 1 March 2018
- Round 3 assessment and approval – May 2018
- Round 3 successful applicants notified – June 2018
- Round 3 announcement of successful projects – July/August 2018
- Round 3 completion of projects June 2021
Government Grant Application Assistance
Call 1300 658 508
New Energy Jobs Fund Round 3 Projects
Projects announced to date include (Further announcements in September 2018):
Regional Renewable Roadmaps – $1 million to develop a suite of Regional Renewable Roadmaps to maximise each regions opportunities to participate in and benefit from Victoria’s energy transition. These roadmaps will be developed by communities for Grampians, Loddon Mallee, Barwon South West and East Gippsland regions.
Delta Energy Systems (Australia) has been awarded $210,000 for its $969,067 project titled ‘Delta Solar Vehicle Charging, seeding a new industry in Victoria’. Delta have been developing PV electric vehicle charging prototypes since 2015 with CSIRO. Focusing on fleet, domestic and light commercial markets. This project is the final stage in the development of this technology, a successful project will bring two new charging platforms to market.
ZECO Australian Energy Solutions has been awarded $150,000 for its $490,000 project ‘Solar Owl’. The project aim is to project aim is to replace diesel light towers. The Solar Owl light towers use solar panels as the source of renewable energy and store them in pollution and maintenance free lithium-ion batteries. These units will be noise free, be more economical and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Rural City of Wangaratta has been awarded $100,000 for their $110,000 project to develop a business case for a micro-grid model for the town of Milawa. It will comprise of solar energy, energy storage and hydrogen fuel cell technology to service all Milawa energy customers.
New Energy Jobs Fund Round 2 Projects
There were 21 successful applicants under the second round of the New Energy Jobs Fund. Projects announced to date include:
|Lead Applicant||Project Description and Category||Grant and Project Value|
|RayGen Resources||Industry – Technology|
This project will include development of a 0.5MW commercial power plant in Newbridge and will support the expansion of the company’s export business. RayGen’s PV Ultra is one of the highest efficiency solar technologies commercially available, utilising technology typically used in space applications. Twenty-two jobs will be created during the design, construction and commissioning of the plant, and a further 3 ongoing jobs post-commissioning.
|Winton Wetlands Committee||Community Feasibility Study|
The feasibility study will investigate and articulate the current capital requirements and economic potential of a 10 megawatt solar power plant. The study will identify and address key considerations for the proposed large scale solar renewable energy project including soil type, aspect, drainage and access, native vegetation assessment, indigenous cultural heritage assessment and community engagement and amenity impacts.
|Hepburn Shire Council||Community – Project Implementation|
Implement a waste to energy system to transform organic waste which would otherwise go to landfill in to a valuable energy resource. The project will reduce disposal and utility costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs in regional Victoria.
|Geli Australia||Industry – Manufacturing|
This project will deliver locally manufactured battery-ready monitoring and control systems in up to 1000 homes across Victoria. Participating households are expected to have their electricity bills reduced by at least 10 percent, while gaining the ability to monitor electricity consumption and solar production in real time, as well as monitor and control battery use. This project is expected to generate up to seven ongoing full-time jobs and more than 80 indirect jobs.
|City of Greater Bendigo||Community – Feasibility Study|
This project will deliver a Feasibility Study on heating and power solutions for regional and rural aquatic centres to improve their environmental and economic sustainability. The outcomes will be relevant to all councils across Victoria as well for the wide range of independent aquatic centre owners and managers.
|City of Greater Bendigo||Community – Business Case|
This project will deliver a business case for expanding the current City of Greater Bendigo bike share scheme to a total of three locations in Bendigo. The vision is an integrated bike share network scheme linking multiple employers and organisations across Bendigo, reducing car trips and associated emissions. The business case will establish the best solution for delivering this vision.
|Clean Technology Partners||Industry – Technology|
Solar engineering company Clean Technology Partners, in partnership with Siemens, will develop an ‘e-cube’, a standardised grid connection solution which will facilitate quicker and more cost-efficient connections to Victoria’s power grid.
The e-cube will allow solar and wind projects to easily connect to the distribution network and will suit a range of system sizes, connection types, and network requirements. This project will create up to 10 ongoing full-time jobs and up to a further 20 indirect employment opportunities.
|Industry – Manufacturing|
A consortium of five companies, led by innovation company ARVIO. This project will manufacture a solar storage control system and software technology kit in Victoria, rather than using imported equipment and create 20 full-time jobs. The project will see 200 solar storage energy kits installed in residences, buildings and community facilities across Victoria to provide electricity during power outages.
New Energy Jobs Fund Round 1 Projects
There were 24 successful applicants under the first round of the New Energy Jobs Fund (NEJF). Successful applicants announced to date include:
- Hepburn Shire Council – $50,000 to support the development of a final business case for a micro-waste to energy power station.
- SEA Automotive – $516,720 to support its work producing electric powered commercial vehicles.
- Wodonga City Council – $80,000 to fund a community solar project.
- Euroa Environment Group – $50,000 to fund the Strathbogie – Seymour Energy Alliance Pumped Hydroelectric Energy Storage business case.
- Goulburn Valley Community Energy – $50,000 to fund the Tatura Energy Future project.
- Wangaratta Government Centre – $100,000 to fund a study for a clean energy project.
- Waranga Green Energy – $1M to fund a self-sustaining mixed agriculture bio-energy project – which will construct a bio-digester that can process up to 200 tonnes per day of agricultural waste to generate renewable heat and power.
- RayGen Resources – more than $1M funding to support the design, construction and manufacture of a new automated production line for its world-leading solar technology.
- MIL-Systems – $180,000 to help the company manufacture its innovative Reactive Power Control (RPC) solar inverter.
- GreenSync – $554,886 to support its digital control platform, which co-ordinates and optimises renewables connected to the grid.
- South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCA) – $330,000 to support its work in providing energy efficient housing in Victoria.
Other successful projects will be announced in the coming weeks.
- NEJF Round 3 Community Guidelines
- NEJF Round 3 FAQ
- NEJF Round 3 Industry Guidelines
- NEJF Round 3 Mandatory Attachments
Plans to develop a renewable energy microgrid in the regional Victorian city of Wangaratta have received a boost from the state government, with $100,000 granted towards efforts to develop a business case for the project.
The project, led by the Wangaratta council and local company Countrywide Renewable Energy, proposes to combine solar PV, energy storage and hydrogen fuel cell technology in the small town of Milawa.
The grid-connected microgrid would see the town generate its own solar electricity via local rooftop solar installations and Countrywide Renewable’s proposed 20MW solar farm in North Wangaratta.
Countrywide has been working with the City of Wangaratta for at least two years, after it announced plans in May 2016 to develop a 10MW community solar farm in the region.
After a strong show of interest in the council supported project from both businesses and local investors, those plans were soon doubled in size, to 20MW.
CWE director, Geoff Drucker, said at the time that the larger the solar farm, the more interest it was likely to attract from potential investors and power off-take partners.
“There is considerable interest in renewable energy projects from superannuation and investment funds that are keen to acquire ethical projects, particularly if they are large-scale developments and the larger they are, the more attraction they offer as an investment,” he said.
In terms of the microgrid proposal, solar energy from both the solar farm and from local rooftops would be shared among customers who opted in to the microgrid, with a community retailing opportunity being considered as part of the business case.
According to a fact sheet, the business case will also consider projected increases in energy demands, energy pricing, other renewable generation options, energy storage, and hydrogen production to replace LPG used by businesses.
Assisting in developing a business case for the microgrid is Deakin University, CSIRO, ITM-Power (a UK company with hydrogen production experience), local network operator AusNet Services, and consumer representative Energy Umpire.
The $100,000 funding from the Andrews Labor government comes under the third round of the New Energy Jobs Fund, as part of its $200 million Future Industries Fund.
“Microgrid projects are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s plan to drive down energy prices, reduce emissions and create more investment and jobs in the renewable energy sector in North East Victoria,” said local MP Jaclyn Symes.
“Milawa and its surrounding region thrives on food, wine, tourism and industry – energy security and pricing are crucial considerations for businesses in these sectors and that’s why we’re supporting this Micro Grid business case for Milawa.”
Among those businesses reportedly interested in taking part include well known local wine makers, Brown Brothers, and the owners of the Milawa Cheese Company.