Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Renewable energy park for Kyabram?

Suport sought for Kyabram renewable energy park.

February 27, 2013 4:56am

Support is being sought for the development of a renewable energy park on the outskirts of Kyabram.

After being approached by Kyabram sustainable energy group SKY, Melbourne-based company Australian Renewable Energy Parks has identified Kyabram as a suitable location to develop a renewable, carbon-neutral energy park.

The company specialises in converting different forms of organic waste into low-cost renewable energy which could attract new businesses to Kyabram and help existing major power users reduce their costs.

AREP executive director Jonathan Beachey visited Kyabram last Friday to discuss the company’s proposal, its potential benefits to the area, and to garner support from Campaspe Shire Council, councillors and community group representatives.

Mr Beachey said the company is exploring possible parcels of land with Campaspe Shire council and believes a suitable site is available. He said AREP already has another site planned in Victoria, at Maryborough, which it expects to commence construction work on soon, once the land purchase is completed.

‘‘The site will just look like any other on the industrial estate. It will be a shed with a series of engines inside,’’ he said.

‘‘We are looking to invest in regional communities and if the Kyabram site mirrored Maryborough it would mean we would be investing about $25million.’’

Mr Beachey said Kyabram Industrial Estate has some existing heavy power using businesses which could benefit from cost savings the renewable energy park would be able to offer.

The savings would also improve the potential to attract new businesses to the site and therefore create employment opportunities.

Mr Beachey said AREP is looking to work with progressive communities and without council and community support it would not consider taking a proposal further.

If support is forthcoming the company will need to conduct an analysis on what fuels would be available in the area. It would also need to purchase a 4-8ha site to develop the park.

‘‘We would need to carry out a feasibility study which would likely take around three months to complete,’’ Mr Beachey said.

‘‘There are three main points we would need to consider.

‘‘Firstly we would need to determine what potential bio-mass fuels and renewable energy sources would be available locally.

‘‘We would then need to consider what technology is available to match that source and understand which financial model would be needed to suit the particular requirements of a renewable energy park at Kyabram.

‘‘There are many variables to look at as part of the feasibility study.’’

Initial discussions have taken place with a Shire of Campaspe Council representative and it is understood the idea is likely to be discussed at either the March or April council meeting.

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