• Australia’s first renewable energy training tower has been officially opened today at Federation University Australia in Ballarat.

Australia’s first renewable energy training tower has been officially opened today at Federation University Australia in Ballarat.

The 23-metre-high tower is Stage 1 of the Asia Pacific Renewable Energy Training Centre (APRETC).

The tower was officially opened by the Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle MP and the Member for Wendouree Julianna Addison MP, along with representatives from renewable energy companies Vestas, ACCIONA Energia, GPG and Tilt Renewables.

The companies provided $1.8 million for APRETC with the initial business case funded with $50,000 from the Victorian Government.

With the opening of the wind turbine training tower, Federation TAFE is on track to start delivering Global Wind Organisation (GWO) Standard Basic Safety Training and Basic Refresher Training in the middle of the year.

Federation expects to eventually train over 600 people a year, providing a pipeline of skilled workers for the fast-growing wind energy sector.

By 2023, Federation will deliver the globally recognised post-trade turbine technician training course after signing an exclusive agreement with the BZEE Network in Germany.

The six-month intensive course for electricians, mechanical fitters, and automotive technicians includes an internship with wind turbine manufacturers and service organisations, covering electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic systems training.

Planning for Stage 2 of APRETC is underway and will include a classroom, workshop, and training equipment to deliver specialised training courses, including training for blade repair technicians.

APRETC is part of Federation’s goal to be the leading industry and government partner for skills, training and research in new energy technologies.

With campuses in Ballarat and Gippsland, Federation is ideally placed to support the growth of wind farm and battery storage developments in western Victorian and the transition from coalfired power generation in the Latrobe Valley.

Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“Our TAFE and training system is vital in upskilling Victoria's future workforce, which is why we're making significant investment in world-class training facilities and new programs like the wind turbine technician apprenticeship.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“Victoria is leading the nation in renewable energy investment and this training facility is another way Victorians can take advantage of the ever-growing opportunities created by our thriving clean energy sector.”

“Renewable energy is creating jobs across Victoria and driving down power bills - Australian first projects like this mean regional Victoria will remain a leader in energy, engineering and innovation as we halve emissions by 2030.”

Quotes attributable to Federation University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Duncan Bentley
“Our Australian first renewable energy training tower is an excellent example of how we are partnering with local industries to deliver the tailored training they need to succeed.”

“The training tower will enable energy companies to train their workers locally in Ballarat, the gateway to Victoria’s major windfarm projects in the state’s west.”

Quotes attributable to Brett Wickham, Managing Director ACCIONA Energia
“The tower is a great introduction to students who are interested in getting a job in renewables. The wind industry is booming and will continue to grow for decades.”

“Federation University’s APRETC is a great place for tradespeople to retrain and join the industry. Many of our staff were previously mechanical fitters or electricians who joined wanting a career in the growing and well-paid sector.”

This article was published by Federation University.