A cohort of 25 NSW councils have signed a renewable energy supply agreement worth an estimated $180 million that will see local government associations supplied with electricity from three of the parks large-scale solar power plants in the state.
A major Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) announced on Thursday by the Southern Sydney Regional Organization of Councils (SSROC), an association of 11 local councils in Sydney’s southern, eastern and inner western suburbs, will supply over 214 GWh of renewable energy per year to 25 New South Wales (NSW) councils.
SSROC, which brokered the deal with South Australia-based renewable energy retailer ZEN Energy, said the clean power would come from the 132MW Nevertire and 56MW Moree solar farms in northwest Australia. New South Wales and the 120 MW Hillston solar farm in the south west of the state.
The PPA includes the supply of electricity to more than 300 major municipal facilities and more than 3,400 small sites managed by the 25 municipalities, which collectively represent more than 3 million people, or nearly 38% of the population of the State.
The deal will start this year and run until 2026, with an option to extend until 2030.
SSROC Chairman and Mayor of Burwood Council John Faker said the councils had saved money by group buying and struck a renewables deal at the same or lower cost than their existing contracts for the traditional fossil fuel energy.
“This is a major win for the environment at a time when the world is focused on taking strong action to tackle climate change,” he said.
“It’s a huge demonstration of the councils’ commitment to serving their communities, minimizing their carbon emissions and growing NSW’s economy.”
SSROC chief executive Helen Sloan said the organization is leading the market in pushing for shorter-term, lower-risk renewable energy supply deals for councils that can be negotiated at lower rates. competitive supply.
“The approach taken proves that councils can secure competitive prices and meet their renewable energy targets without having to enter into a long-term agreement,” she said.
The SSROC said 83% of the councils’ total electricity supply will be met by renewables from the Nevertire, Moree and Hillston solar parks.
Nineteen of the participating municipalities have opted for 100% renewable energy as part of the agreement.
Local Government Minister Wendy Tuckerman said collaboration between councils brings NSW closer to achieving its net zero targets.
“Councils working together in this way show exactly what all levels of government can achieve as they strive for net zero emissions and energy security,” she said in a statement.
“This huge investment in NSW will be the foundation for a brighter, cleaner future.”
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 Woollahra.
The agreement is the latest in a series of clean energy supply agreements signed by Australian councils.
Earlier this month a group of six councils from the NSW Hunter region banded together to negotiate a 10-year PPA with Sydney-based retailer Mojo Power as Procurement Australia revealed it was making progress on a deal supply scheme which will see seven councils in the Albury, Wollongong and Bega Valley regions using 100% renewable energy from 2023.
In December, 48 councils in Western Australia (WA) signed an agreement with energy supplier WA Synergy to source renewable energy from wind farms in Albany, Emu Downs and Collgar.
The initiative, brokered by the WA Local Government Association (WALGA), came after more than half of Victoria’s local councils signed a similar agreement earlier in 2021.
The Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) has ensured 46 of Victoria’s 79 councils will be powered by renewable energy with Melbourne-based energy retailer Red Energy, a subsidiary of federally owned Snowy Hydro, signing a deal to supply councils a combined capacity of 240 GWh of renewable energy each year until the end of 2030.
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