Federation University will construct one of Australia’s first wind turbine towers dedicated to the training of new construction workers.
The turbine tower, to be built at the university’s Mount Helen campus in Ballarat, will be used to train students hoping to work in Australia’s growing wind industry.
Standing 23-metres tall, the turbine tower will be designed with ladders and safety equipment to provide students exposure to real-world conditions.
The training facility is part of the Asia Pacific Renewable Energy Training Centre being established at Federation University, with the support of $1.8 million in funding provided by wind energy companies, Vestas, Acciona, Tilt Renewables and GPG.
The facility will be shared between Federation University and Federation TAFE to provide skilled training to workers looking to get involved in the construction and maintenance of wind turbines being built across Australia.
“Industry spoke and we listened – with this new tower some of the industry’s biggest renewable energy companies can now train wind turbine technicians in Ballarat instead of using fly-in-fly-out workers,” the chief executive of Federation TAFE, Liam Sloan, said.
“The Asia Pacific Renewable Energy Training Centre puts Ballarat and Federation University at the heart of Victoria’s growing renewable energy sector, which means more jobs and investment in our region, as well as cheaper and greener power.”
Plans for the Asia Pacific Renewable Energy Training Centre will include the installation of dedicated classrooms, workshops and training equipment at the Federation University campus and serves as part of a vision to position the university as the leading Australian provider of renewable energy sector training.
The university will offer training in wind turbine maintenance and safety, as well as wind turbine blade repair.
Federation University has previously signed a number of arrangements with Victorian wind farm developers to provide training and education for local workers, with the Victorian government also supporting the establishment of local industries for the manufacture of wind turbine components.
“We want to make Federation University the leading training and research partner for the renewable energy sector in Australia – this new wind turbine training tower is an important step,” Federation University vice-chancellor professor Duncan Bentley said.
Federation TAFE said that upon the completion of the wind turbine training tower, it would become the only Australian-based provider of the Global Wind Organisation’s basic safety training courses with the use of a real-world tower.