We were proud to open the doors of the Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative factory in Morwell, to welcome in the community and to host the official launch of the Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub this month.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio toured the Earthworker Energy factory for the launch, which was attended by a big crowd of enthusiastic community members and supporters.
After many years of community-led effort, the Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative factory has started manufacturing household renewable energy technology in Morwell. The public can start ordering products now.
Listen to the feature report from ABC Radio, recorded at the factory.
The Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub – one of three Community Power Hubs in Victoria – is a project that, like ours, aims to assist communities to take charge (and ownership) of their own energy transition.
Earthworker Energy is glad to be part of the Community Power Hub’s first project: the ‘Gippy Bulk Buy‘ of solar PV, batteries and Earthworker Energy ‘Made in Morwell’ solar hot water products.
The community bulk buy, which is being supported by Latrobe City, Baw Baw and Wellington Shire Councils, and facilitated by the Yarra Energy Foundation, will help create local clean energy manufacturing jobs while assisting residents and businesses to cut their energy bills and climate pollution.
Gippslanders can take part today, or attend a public information session via the website: www.gippybulkbuy.com.au
The first cooperative factory in the Earthworker network – the worker-run Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative – aims to create dignified and sustainable livelihoods as part of ‘just transition’ for the Latrobe Valley community as the region’s power industry changes.
“We are building examples of more just and sustainable workplaces and economies – solutions that can help us deal with climate change and economic resilience right here in the Valley, and across the country.” said Earthworker Cooperative Secretary Dan Musil.
“The Latrobe Valley has directly experienced the failure of privatisation, with the rapid unplanned closure of Hazelwood Power Station a recent example. Communities around the world are reversing electricity industry privatisation” said Dan Musil.
“We are putting power back into the hands of workers and communities, in ways that allow us to fairly address the crisis of climate change and household cost of living”.
“The Community Power Hubs program is helping communities use the skills and expertise they already have to develop renewable energy projects.” said Minister Lily D’Ambrosio.
Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said that access to local renewable energy will increase the resilience of Gippsland and soften the impact of energy price shocks, and reduce the region’s collective carbon footprint.
“Hot water heating can account for up to one third of total household energy use. Through this bulk-buy project, local residents can significantly reduce their power bills and support new clean-energy-manufacturing jobs.”
For more information about the Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative and it’s solar hot water products, visit: www.earthworkerenergy.coop