Three solar farms in New South Wales, Australia will supply renewable energy to 25 councils across the state, following a landmark deal with retailer Zen Energy.
Courted by the Southern Sydney Regional Councils Organization (SSROC) and worth around $180 million, the deal will see Zen supply more than 214 gigawatt hours of electricity annually.
Nineteen of the participating councils have chosen to switch to 100% renewable energy as part of the agreement, with their total electricity supply covered by renewable energy from the Moree, Hillston and Nevertire solar parks.
The City of Sydney says it has been powered by 100% renewable electricity for nearly two years after signing a similar deal with Flow Power in July 2020.
“It’s wonderful to see so many local government organizations working together to maximize their efforts to reduce global carbon emissions,” said Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney.
“We have been certified carbon neutral since 2011 and our operations have been running on 100% renewable electricity for almost two years.
“By sourcing 100% renewable energy, we will be well on our way to achieving our goal of net zero carbon emissions, to ensure that we remain environmentally sustainable in the future”
She continued: “With overwhelming climate research telling us emissions need to fall now, it’s the energy deals we need to reduce carbon emissions from local council operations.”
The 25 councils participating in the agreement collectively represent over three million people, or almost 38% of NSW’s population. The agreement starts in 2022 and runs until 2026 with an option to extend until 2030.
Participating councils are: Bayside, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Georges River, Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Liverpool, Mosman, North Sydney, Parramatta, Port Stephens, Randwick, Ryde, Singleton, Sutherland, Tamworth, Waverley, Willoughby and Woollahra.
In a separate press release, Philip Ruddock, Mayor of Hornsby Shire, said: “It is essential that local government address climate change appropriately, and this agreement is in line with the Hornsby 2040 Sustainable Strategy and Plan. Council’s Climate Wise.”
“By sourcing 100% renewable energy, we will be well on our way to achieving our goal of net zero carbon emissions, to ensure that we remain environmentally friendly in the future, especially as we continue to provide services to our growing population.”
The Southern Sydney Regional Councils Organization previously led a power purchase agreement (PPA) in 2018 which saw Origin Energy supply solar power to 20 Sydney local councils under a new agreement on renewable energies which was to meet up to 35% of their demand.