Independent Federal Member for Indi in North East Victoria Helen Haines has released The Local Power Plan blueprint, which outlines plans for Dubbo to host a new renewable energy hub following a $483 million plan to build a string of power stations across regional Australia.
The hub is one of 50 locations planned for the country if supported by the government and would see a decrease in electricity bills, stronger energy security, and new jobs and opportunities for everyday people.
The Local Power Plan will provide technical expertise and distribute $650,000 worth of grants to local community groups each year over 10 years.
"Every year, energy companies make billions of dollars selling electricity to Australians," she said.
"If everyday regional Australians could invest in these new renewable power stations, we'd create a significant new income stream for everyday people."
Dr Haines said the proposal was modelled on a successful pilot program in the Victorian cities of Bendigo and Ballarat and in the Latrobe Valley, and is in need Government support.
"In the Victorian pilot, an initial investment of $1.3 million generated 15 projects worth $14.5 million to the local economy and saved people $364,000 in electricity bills every year," she said.
"Our proposal is significantly more ambitious so would deliver much greater economic return and much greater savings."
The plan involves two new schemes, the first would see a public underwriting scheme for the majority of community-owned energy projects.
"The underwriting scheme would attract large private investors to partner with local communities to develop, for instance, a solar farm or a community battery that could help power an entire regional town," she said.
The second would involve a new requirement for any new large-scale renewable energy projects to offer locals the chance to purchase up to 20 per cent of the project value and secure a minority stake in new projects.
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