More locals will be trained in renewable energy careers, while attracting tourists to the region, if a plan by the deputy mayor comes to light.
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Councillor Richard Ivey has called on council to prepare a business case for a Renewable Energy Awareness and Career Training centre.
He wants the REACT centre to be based in the Wellington district and be focused on building skills in the renewable sector as a whole and building capacity in the local community to participate in the Renewable Energy Zone delivery and maintenance.
In addition to that, Cr Ivey's vision is for the facility to be a tourism drawcard that could educate the public, similar to the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre.
Cr Ivey said it was important the local government area, and particularly Wellington, got some benefit from the renewable projects in the region.
"There's a lot of there's opposition out there in the community to renewables and a lot of that is born out of ignorance," the deputy mayor said.
The REACT centre would help explain renewable energy, while highlighting the benefits the solar and wind farms were bringing to the region, he said.
Mayor Mathew Dickerson has already written about the need for such a centre, to ensure a continuing economic injection in the region.
"This is not revolutionary but merely logical. We have well-trodden paths with the Dish and the Snowy Scheme. We have a desperate need to educate the public about the operation of renewables and the National Electricity Market...," he wrote in his column in May.
Cr Dickerson said there were three bonuses to having the centre: unlike the Dish, wind turbines moved and looked majestic; people would be interested in gathering an understanding about the generation of electricity; and there's the chance for an adventure component, such as a replica wind turbine people could go inside.
Councillor Jess Gough said she had people ask her on a daily basis about what was happening with the renewable energy projects in Wellington.
She said the REACT centre was a fantastic idea for informing the public, while the skills side of it could also lower the unemployment rate in Wellington.
A business case for the REACT centre will be prepared by the council before any further action is taken. It will also outline opportunities for external funding.
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