Gippsland is powering up to host Australia’s largest regional-led energy conference in Sale between August 30 and September 2.

The conference will bring together more than 70 leaders from local and state government, industry, and the community to share the latest developments in renewable energy projects planned for Wellington and the broader Gippsland region.

Organisers are expecting more than 500 people to participate in person and online

Wellington Shire Council will sponsor the conference for a second year, building on the 2022 event that accelerated significant outcomes in renewable energy transition.

Hosted at The Wedge Performing Arts Centre in Sale, this year’s Gippsland New Energy Conference (GNEC) promises to deliver deeper connections and collaborations with industry stakeholders and the community.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye said council was again excited to be part of the Gippsland New Energy Conference.

“It is great to see the conference continuing to grow after a sold-out event in Wellington Shire last year,” Cr Bye said.

“Council continues to advocate for new energy transition, and we are working with government and industry to secure large-scale, long-term investment opportunities.

“I am looking forward to participating in the event with the community and delegates from across the globe.

“The conference is another big win for The Middle of Everywhere and brings with it huge economic benefits for our region.

“We are now one of the most sought-after destinations for major events in Gippsland, and I would encourage local businesses to think about how they can benefit from the influx of visitors to Sale and surrounds during the conference.

“While last year’s event unlocked the potential of renewable energy in Gippsland, this year’s focus will provide greater insight about the projects, initiatives and policies established across the region and what we can expect to see delivered from some of the biggest global renewable energy project developers, and what that means for local communities on the ground.”

The conference will include a series of educational sessions, Q&A and panel discussions covering the latest innovations, energy policy, project developments across solar, hydrogen and wind energy, storage, electric vehicles and more.

Gippsland Climate Change Network chief executive Darren McCubbin said his organisation is grateful to partner with council – “with over 40 organisations including business innovators, local and state government agencies, community leaders and education experts shaping the four-day program and are sleeves rolled up ready to make this series of events an overwhelming success,” he said.

In conjunction with the Gippsland New Energy Conference, Cr Bye will also be prioritising his attendance at the Asia Pacific Offshore Wind & Green Hydrogen Summit in Melbourne that same week.

GNEC will be bookended by the Gippsland Youth New Energy Day, supported by AGL Energy, and a free Community Day at the Port of Sale on September 2.

The free community event will include a renewables market, electric vehicle expo, documentary screening, Q&A session with offshore wind company Orsted, and live music and entertainment. The community day is sponsored by Iberdrola Energy, one of the biggest renewable energy project developers in the world.

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