The State Electricity Commission (SEC) has made its official return and is poised to take the lead in Australian state Victoria’s shift towards renewable energy, with a primary emphasis on the provision of energy, residential needs, and the welfare of its citizens.

Victoria Premier Jacinta Allan unveiled the SEC’s Strategic Plan for the period 2023-2035, outlining three distinct focal points for the next decade:

  1. Committing to expedite the transition to clean energy sources.
  2. Assisting in the transition to fully electric households.
  3. Cultivating a skilled workforce in the renewable energy sector.

The SEC is committed to an initial investment of A$1bn ($630m), which will be directed toward the development of 4.5GW of fresh power capacity from renewable energy and storage projects. This substantial capacity will be sufficient to supply approximately 1.5 million households with clean energy.

The primary focus of this investment lies in the expansion of energy storage and onshore power generation, with the objective of instilling confidence within the industry to attract additional investments in the future.

By 2028, the SEC aims to support 2.6GW of renewable generation and storage assets.

Furthermore, by 2025, the SEC will take responsibility for the Victorian Renewable Energy Target projects, which amount to an additional 1.2GW of renewable energy generation on top of the initial 4.5GW.

This initiative will play a pivotal role in supplying renewable energy to all public hospitals, schools, police stations, and government buildings, contributing significantly to the goal of having all Victorian Government operations and facilities powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

The SEC will extend its services to commercial and industrial customers, assisting them in managing their energy costs as we make the transition toward a net-zero emissions economy.

The SEC is set to play a significant role in generating 59,000 jobs, including 6,000 traineeships and apprenticeships, to support the development of the infrastructure and services essential for achieving a 95% renewable energy target by 2035 in the state.

This workforce expansion will be facilitated through three key avenues: the SEC’s role as an employer, its efforts in attraction and training, and its advocacy for sector-wide workforce development.

To further this mission, the SEC will establish the SEC Centre of Training Excellence, collaborating with schools, TAFEs (Technical and Further Education institutions), and industry stakeholders to bolster the recruitment, training, and retention of a highly skilled renewable energy workforce.

The SEC has garnered substantial interest from over 100 energy market participants in its Pioneer Investment program, with an official announcement expected before the year’s end. These registrations of interest (ROI) collectively represent a capacity of 24GW in generation and 30GW in storage capacity.

The development of the SEC’s Strategic Plan was guided by recommendations from the SEC Expert Advisory Panel, a group composed of some of Australia’s most prominent energy sector and business leaders. Each panel member contributed their specific expertise to shape the new SEC and position it to accelerate Victoria’s transition to renewable energy.

Victoria Premier Jacinta Allan said: “The SEC is back: we’ll invest in government-owned renewable energy, help households switch to all-electric and build the renewables workforce Victoria needs.”

“We’re putting power back in the hands of Victorians, giving them the tools they need to lower household energy bills and make the most of the cheap renewable energy that will supply the grid.”