Vestas turns Geelong ex-car factory into wind turbine assembly

07 Mar 2019

Danish wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, is rejuvenating the former Ford factory in Geelong, Victoria. A new 3,000 square metre turbine assembly and testing facility will form part of a Renewable Energy Hub at the port city, supplying local wind farms.

The A$3.5 million investment is part of a new collaboration with Australia’s Marand Precision Engineering (Marand). Together, the companies will create approximately 20 permanent jobs and return wind turbine assembly work to Australia after a gap of more than 10 years.

According to Vestas’ President for Asia Pacific, Clive Thurton, the partnership with Marand will help revitalise Geelong’s industrial heritage. 

‘In Marand, we are partnering with an experienced manufacturing service provider, with outstanding capabilities and skilled personnel,’ he says. 

The new energy hub is intended to support Victorian renewable energy targets. These targets include generating 25% of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2020, and 40% by 2025. 

The turbines assembled at the Geelong energy hub will be erected at the 336MW Dundonnel wind farm in Victoria’s southwest, and a 180MW farm at Berrybank close by.

According to the Deion Campbell, Chief Executive of Tilt Renewables, which owns the Dundonnel wind farm, the investment will also lead to a mix of manufacturing and long-term maintenance jobs.

‘As one of the largest beneficiaries of the new turbine assembly facility, we are very pleased to contribute to the creation of new manufacturing jobs, as well as training opportunities for people in the city of Geelong and southwest Victoria,’ he says. 

To develop maintenance skills, Vestas is partnering with Federation University’s Ballarat Renewable Energy Training Centre, which opened in March 2018. The centre will create employment opportunities for wind turbine technicians.

Based in Denmark, Vestas is one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers and installers, with 101GW of installed wind turbines in 80 countries.