The City of Sydney has officially made the switch to 100 per cent renewable electricity, with its power supplies now flowing from wind and solar projects from across regional New South Wales.
The council will now source the equivalent of all of its electricity consumption from renewable sources, including energy used throughout its operations at its buildings, depots, street lights, sporting facilities, as well as the iconic Sydney Town Hall. Its milestone came on the same day as the City of Adelaide.
“We are in the middle of a climate emergency. If we are to reduce emissions and grow the green power sector, all levels of government must urgently transition to renewable energy,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“Cities are responsible for 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, so it is critical that we take effective and evidence-based climate actions.”
The City of Sydney secured a power purchase agreements with wind and solar farms in Glen Innes, Wagga Wagga and the Shoalhaven region in a deal worth around $60 million.
This includes a 3MW solar farm built in the Shoalhaven in partnership with the not-for-profit Repower Shoalhaven initiative, with the power purchase agreement struck with the City of Sydney delivering benefits to the local community located on the NSW south coast.
“Shoalhaven solar farm could not have become operational without the City’s investment. By partnering with this project, we’re creating local jobs and helping the renewables sector grow,” Repower Shoalhaven member Bob Hayward said.
“The City of Sydney decision to include a regional community-based scheme brings us a step closer to a sustainable decarbonised future while supporting regional investment and employment. We congratulate the City for this significant commitment.”
The City of Sydney will also source power from the 120MW Bomen Solar Farm located just outside Wagga Wagga, and the 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm located in NSW’s New England region.
Its the latest step in a range of pro-active measures taken by the City of Sydney council to reduce its contributions to climate change. The council became the first government in Australia to be certified as carbon neutral in 2011 and set itself a target of reducing its emissions footprint by 70 per cent by 2030. The council also made a formal declaration of a climate change emergency in June last year.
The deal is expected to reduce the council’s emissions footprint by around 20,000 tonnes per year, as well as saving the council around $500,000 annually over the next ten years on its energy costs. It will also likely see the council achieve its emissions reduction goal as early as 2024.
The City of Sydney was assisted in securing the arrangement by Flow Power, which hopes Sydney can serve as an example for other councils and local government authorities for how emissions reductions and cost savings can be achieved by embracing renewable energy.
“This is a landmark achievement for the City of Sydney. If organisations can follow in the City’s footsteps, a net-zero carbon future is achievable,” Flow Power CEO Matthew van der Linden said.
“The City is directly matched to these renewable projects, a move that supports the integration of renewables into the system.”
A range of local council authorities have moved to transition their electricity use to renewable supplies, including the City of Adelaide, the City of Newcastle and the government of the ACT, which switched all of the territory’s electricity consumption to renewable sources.
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