The buying group has been put together by City of Melbourne in the wake of the success of the premiere Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, which achieved the building of an 80 MW wind farm located at Crowlands, in the vicinity of Ararat, City of Melbourne deputy mayor Arron Wood said.

This collective of large energy users aims to buy about 113GWh of energy from a large-scale renewable energy project in the state – sufficient to power more than 25,000 households in Melbourne for a 12-month period.

Wood said the group aims to combat climate change by way of their energy purchase. As a result of this endeavour, university campuses, manufacturing facilities, shopping centres, retail stores and office buildings in Melbourne seeking their power through renewable energy. In this way, rural industry will be supported and the fight against climate change will find another basis.

The initial Melbourne Renewable Energy Project produced 140 construction jobs.

A spokesperson for City of Melbourne said that the buying group assembled organically. Some of them, like Fulton Hogan, Modelez International, RMIT and Deakin University, have committed to Sustainability Victoria’s TAKE2 climate change pledge.

City of Melbourne facilitated the project as facilitator, and guaranteed that all parties were aligned along fundamental criteria like risk appetite and organisational carbon targets.

RMIT took part in the first buying consortium, so claims a vital role as the lead customer and the contracting entity for legal advice and other vital matters.

The spokesperson asserted that the City of Melbourne wants other aggregators to appear in the market to aid businesses and other organisations who created PPA agreements at scale—smaller organisations in particular, who may not have had the opportunity to participate otherwise.

Apart from renewable energy, other pluses for group deal participants include the sharing of knowledge, purchasing power, and more flexibility in energy use changes.

A sampling of the 16 retailers invited to tender do not possess PPA offerings; however, the spokesperson stated that the group sought to guarantee that all Victorian retailers dealing with large market accounts were provided the opportunity.


Join a content revolution


Thanks to a summons for proposals to partner with Standards Australia, it soon will be easier for critical standards content to be used more extensively by business, the consumer sector, and academia.

A new distribution and licensing framework has been released to initiate a conversation with potential distribution partners, with the new plan set to be fully operational in early 2020.

Says chief executive Adrian O’Connell, the documents printed by Standards Australia have been released in print or PDF format. He said that in eliciting new partnerships for the delivery of content in this format, the organisation seeks to expand its repertoire beyond PDFs and hard copy books and enlist the use of apps and web platforms used in industry.

Apps utilised by tradespeople to make their work easier may not incorporate the relevant standards as a portion of their content, however the new framework offers the possibility for app developers to collaborate with the organisation to incorporate them, said O’Connell.

In addition to these arrangements and bulk licensing arrangements, the organisation has pledged to rendering content accessible and free for personal, household and domestic use by the year 2023.

In areas that contain high public interest and benefit, such as standards pertaining to child safety seats, partnerships are needed to develop plain English guides to aid the community in comprehending the subject matter embedded with technospeak.

Read the Standards Australia’s Distribution and Licensing Policy Framework.


Small grant program means business


In February 2020, the City of Melbourne will open an application process for the next round of its Small Business Grants Program.

The program counts among its success stories a number of sustainability-focused start-ups and small businesses that include KeepCup.

Since kicking off in 1996, the small grant program has awarded $8.9 million in funding to more than 400 small businesses.

A chief criterion for applicants is that they must be based in the City of Melbourne or seriously intend to establish a strong presence in that area. Start-ups and established businesses representing any sector are welcomed to apply – only your corporate concepts must be excellent and backed by a strong business proposal which will be set into motion whether or not it receives grant funds.

New guidelines for the grants will be released in 2020.