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City of Sydney makes the switch to 100 per cent green power

Since 1 July, all of the City’s operations – including streetlights, pools, sports fields, depots and buildings – have been run on 100 per cent locally sourced renewable electricity.

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Sydney reckons it will reach its 2030 target of reducing emissions by 70 per cent by 2024
Sydney reckons it will reach its 2030 target of reducing emissions by 70 per cent by 2024

The City of Sydney has made the shift to using 100 per cent renewable electricity, generated from wind and solar farms in regional New South Wales (NSW).

 

Valued at over $60m, it is the biggest green energy deal of its kind by a council in Australia. Around three-quarters of the power will be wind-generated, and the remaining one quarter by solar.

 

Locally sourced energy

 

Since 1 July, all of the City’s operations – including streetlights, pools, sports fields, depots, buildings and the historic Sydney Town Hall – have been run on 100 per cent renewable electricity from locally-sourced clean energy.

 

The switch is projected to save the City up to $500m a year over the next 10 years, and reduce C02 emissions by around 20,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent to the power consumption of more than 6,000 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,” said Moore.

 

“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.

“This ground-breaking $60m 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 City of Sydney became carbon neutral in 2007 and was 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 per cent by 2024, six years early.

 

“This ground-breaking $60m 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 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 per cent 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,” added van der Linden.

 

“The City is directly matched to these renewable projects, a move that supports the integration of renewables into the system.”

 

Three generators

 

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 1,500 homes.

 

Owned by the Australian-listed company, Spark Infrastructure, the 120MW 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 270MW capacity generated by 75 turbines that stand 200 metres high. It is partly owned by CWP Renewables.

 

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