100% green power for City of Sydney

Tuesday, 07 July, 2020


The City of Sydney will be 100% powered by renewable energy from July 2020.

This renewable power will be generated from wind and solar farms in regional NSW.

Valued at over $60 million, it is one of the biggest green energy deals of its kind by a council in Australia.

All the City’s operations — including street lights, pools, sports fields, depots, buildings and the historic Sydney Town Hall — will now be run on 100% renewable electricity from locally sourced clean energy.

The switch is projected to save the City up to half a million dollars a year over the next 10 years, and reduce CO2 emissions by around 20,000 tonnes a year — equivalent to the power consumption of more than 6000 households.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the new agreement will generate jobs, support communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and create new opportunities in drought-affected regional NSW.

“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,” Moore said.

“Cities are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, so it is critical that we take effective and evidence-based climate actions.

“The City of Sydney became carbon neutral in 2007, and were the first government in Australia to be certified carbon neutral in 2011. This new deal will see us reach our 2030 target of reducing emissions by 70% by 2024, six years early.

“This groundbreaking $60 million renewable electricity deal will also save our ratepayers money and support regional jobs in wind and solar farms in Glen Innes, Wagga Wagga and the Shoalhaven.”

The innovative green electricity deal is a power purchase agreement with retailer Flow Power. CEO Matthew van der Linden said the City’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy would help accelerate Australia’s transition to a net-zero carbon future.

“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,” van der Linden said.

Around three-quarters of the power will be wind generated, and the remaining quarter by solar.

The project will see the City source renewable energy from three different generators — the Bomen Solar Farm in Wagga Wagga, Sapphire Wind Farm near Inverell and the Shoalhaven solar farm in Nowra.

The Shoalhaven project is being developed by Flow Power in partnership with local community group Repower Shoalhaven, a not-for-profit volunteer community enterprise that develops community solar projects. On completion, the 3-megawatt Shoalhaven solar farm will have around 10,000 panels and generate enough energy to power 1500 homes.

Owned by Australian-listed company Spark Infrastructure the 120 MW Bomen Solar Farm has more than 310,000 solar panels on 250 hectares of land. It is one of the first projects in Australia to use bi-facial panels that absorb sunlight on both sides, with tracking technology that shifts each panel throughout the day to capture the sun’s energy.

The Sapphire Wind Farm near Inverell is the largest wind farm in NSW, with a 270 MW capacity generated by 75 turbines that stand 200 metres high.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Stockr

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