Environment Connect Autumn 23

Offshore wind areas

The East Gippsland Shire’s quarterly publication Environment Connect Autumn edition is out now with interesting news on various items including the successful completion of the LED streetlights program and a planned EV expo to be held in conjunction with Rotary Bairnsdale and the Gippsland Climate Change Network. The big news is the continuing rapid rollout of EV charging stations across the shire and the progress of offshore wind developments in Bass Strait.

The latter was featured under the header “Offshore wind could now include East Gippsland” and noted that the “Commonwealth declared an offshore renewable energy zone off the Gippsland coast on the 19 December 2022, however the original boundary advice has changed and now includes parts of the East Gippsland coastline.” As the image above indicates the area for possible development is huge and although the impact on East Gippsland “is unknown” there can be little doubt that in the medium to long term it will be substantial and will be a big contributor in replacing the remaining Latrobe Valley brown coal generators.

With regards the Electric Vehicle revolution the shire continues to lead the way with charging stations established across the region. EC noted: “In a first for the region, East Gippsland Shire Council is installing seven 50kW fast chargers by the end of this year. Four of those stations – Omeo, Bairnsdale, Orbost and Cann River – are now installed and available, while Mallacoota, Lakes Entrance and Buchan are being planned. Council is also working with private companies to support the installation of additional stations. There will be about 14 EV charging stations in place across the shire, strategically located to ensure they are all within range for local people, and also complement charging stations outside East Gippsland.”

It is of critical importance that all “electric vehicle charging stations installed by Council will source 100% renewable electricity as part of VECO”* and that “visitors with EVs can now confidently travel to East Gippsland, and travel within and through our great shire. The initiative is part of Council’s ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable transport options.”

The East Gippsland Shire Council is to be congratulated on their push for EV charging. There can be little doubt that the EV revolution will be quickly upon us.

*via the Shire’s Power Purchase Agreement