One clever Latrobe Valley enterprise is helping workers switch to low carbon employment, writes Sasha Shtargot.
Drive east out of smog-bound Melbourne along the Princes Highway and before long you are in the haze that perpetually sits in the Latrobe Valley.
Pitted with brown coal mines, the valley has long been in the firing line as the dirty heart of Victoria’s power generation system. It is home to Hazelwood, the most polluting power station in Australia, pumping out over 16 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.
Yet the area that has long depended on jobs from brown coal has started heading in the opposite direction—towards a manufacturing base in clean technology. More precisely, the making of solar hot water units.
Eureka’s Future, a co-operatively run factory, is set to start operating next year with 50 workers in Morwell. With the support of Dandenong manufacturer Everlast and Douglas Solar, it will produce stainless steel tanks with Solar Mio flatplate collectors, Grundfos pumps and Bosch boosters. By the end of 2011, it is expected to be making 500 solar hot water units a month. With rebates and including installation, a Eureka’s Future gas-boosted tank will cost country homeowners $2655 and city dwellers $2755. And it will come with a 10-year guarantee.
This entry was posted on Friday, September 17th, 2010 at 4:06 pm