While it might not be funded in this year's state budget, things are looking good for Federation Training's renewables training centre.
The Courier understands the business case for the Asia-Pacific Renewable Energy Training Centre has been presented to the state government, and there's a hope for further meetings in the near future.
There's plenty of work going on behind the scenes - a pilot session has been completed, on basic wind turbine maintenance, which would eventually form the foundation of the course.
Major wind turbine companies are reportedly in discussions with the university as well, with the hope that graduates would be able to find employment quickly.
There's momentum building, with the university eventually hoping to offer a course that will supply technicians to the dozens of wind farm projects across the state, as well as training for the solar industry, as the state government moves to legislate its renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030.
When built, the Ballarat centre would be one of the first in Australia to offer comprehensive training just in renewable energy skills, in the heart of western Victoria's burgeoning wind farm industry.
As well as construction and maintenance, there's also hope the centre could provide workers in the fabrication process.
Recently, manufacturer Vestas took over the former Ford plant in Geelong, with the aim of building parts in Victoria before they head out across the state.
Federation University's vice-chancellor and president, Professor Helen Bartlett, described the proposal as "critically important".
"Federation University continues to work with the State Government to secure funding for what is a critically important project that will benefit the renewable energy sector," she said.
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