By way of an agreement with the energy company Flow Power, every City of Sydney operation, such as pools, sports fields, depots and buildings, and the historical Sydney Town Hall, will find its power through 100 percent renewable energy.
The most significant standalone renewables deal for an Australian council in history will result in three-quarters of the community’s power sourced from wind generation and one-quarter from solar power.
This commitment will result in the reduction of emissions by about 20,000 tonnes a year – equal to power consumption by 8,000 households.
In addition, this move is estimated to save up to half a million dollars a year over the next decade.
Melinda Dewsnap, sustainability engagement manager – residential, says that projects like this one help to guarantee that Australian cities operate on renewables and create new economies.
Sydney has committed to purchase electricity from Sapphire Wind Farm near Glen Innes in northern NSW, Bomen Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga in the state’s southwestern region, and a not-for-profit community-owned solar operation near Nowra on the southeast NSW coast.
Flow Power CEO Matthew van der Linden states that the City of Sydney’s commitment to purchase its electricity from renewable plants will help pave the way to Australia’s transition to a low-carbon future. He says that if only 20 percent of the market copied this model, it would inspire investment in 11 gigawatts of fresh renewable generation, double that produced through the recent pipeline of renewable projects.
The community solar farm project in the Nowra vicinity is being developed with Repower Shoalhaven and should be completed in the year 2020.
Dewsnap points out that more than 25 percent of Australians reside in local government regions that now have declared a climate emergency. For this reason, she says that homes and businesses must be run on 100 percent renewable energy.
Renewable electricity will lend power to all City-owned properties from 1 July 2020.