Melbourne Becomes First Australian City To Power Entire Council Infrastructure with Renewables

The City of Melbourne switched all its Council Buildings' operations to renewable energy from 1 January.

The City of Melbourne has announced that its entire council is now powered by 100 percent Renewable Energy. In doing so, the city has now become the first in Australia to have all its council infrastructure powered by green energy.

Arron Wood
Arron Wood, Deputy Lord Mayor, City of Melbourne

City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said Pacific Hydro has installed 25 of the 39 turbines required at the Crowlands Windfarm near Ararat in Western Victoria, and energy has begun flowing into the power grid.

“Making the move to 100 percent renewable energy is the ultimate New Year’s resolution. Every light on our streets, every treadmill in our gyms and every barbecue in our parks is now powered by renewable energy,” he said.

“We are immensely proud to be the first Australian capital city council powered by 100 percent renewable energy. We were also the first group in this country to implement a renewable energy power purchasing agreement. We have led the nation in responding to climate change, securing a sustainable energy supply for the future and have shown a great example of how a major city with a $92 billion economy can influence positive outcomes in our regional towns,” he added.

The Yarra, Port Phillip, and Moreland councils, as well as Australia Post, Bank Australia, the National Australia Bank, Melbourne University, Federation Square, Melbourne Convention, and Exhibition Centre and Zoos Victoria are part of the buying group and have all initiated their new energy contracts on the same day.

The group agreed to purchase 88GWh of electricity per year, about half of the energy that will be produced by the 80MW Crowlands Windfarm.

Under the agreement, 40% of the power will be purchased at a fixed price while 60% will be a market-based price that is renegotiated every two years.

The Project was funded, in part, by efficiency measures including a $16m upgrade of the city’s 12,000 street lamps to LED lights, which is expected to shave $1m a year off the council’s power bills once the changeover is completed in July.

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Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. There are more than 40 large-scale wind and solar projects either under construction or with planning approval in Victoria, as well as more than 26 that are already producing electricity. With its 65O MW Reverse auction target and recent approval of $1.5 Billion, 17000-hectare Windfarm at Golden Plains, Victoria is on track to exceed its renewable energy targets of generating 25% of the state’s electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020 and 40% by 2025.

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