The Point Henry aluminium smelter was located near Geelong and operated for many decades prior to its closure in 2014.
Since then, both Alcoa (who operated the smelter) and the state government have been considering what to do with the site. It is a sprawling and heavily contaminated industrial site, situated on land of cultural significance, plus conservation areas and other industries.
Friends of the Earth believes that the old smelter site would make an ideal location for a renewable energy park. The smelter used a lot of electricity, which was transmitted by a high voltage connection to the grid, which could be utilised if power was generated on site. A wind and solar energy park could be combined with a range of other uses including eco tourism.
In 2016, FoE started to meet with interested locals and organisations to discuss whether a renewable energy park could be a viable possibility for the site.
The Renew Point Henry Consortium (RPHC) was born: with a vision for wind and solar generated electricity with storage technologies on Point Henry, as a key component of the Moolap Coastal Strategic Framework Plan, which is currently being finalised by the state government.
The consortium is composed of WestWind Energy, Green Earth Electrical, Manage Carbon and Friends of the Earth.
Our vision is to help transition Geelong into a cutting edge renewable energy hub for Australia through a unique and collaborative business model: an innovative, community initiated renewable energy and education park that generates environmental and cultural tourism for sustainable investment and local job creation.
A renewable energy park on an iconic site near Geelong would send a positive message that the city embraces new technologies and initiatives that benefit the community and environment.
WHO WE ARE:
Led by Friends of the Earth, the Consortium combines a number of businesses, and is building a strong network of local, regional and state wide expertise and capacity.
We are supported in our vision of a renewable energy park by Traditional Custodians and other local Aboriginal leaders, local manufacturers who use large quantities of electricity, business groups, a number of industries located in the Point Henry area, Geelong Trades Hall Council, and a number of universities and TAFE.