Big Melbourne corporates sign up to renewable future
30 June 2020 at 5:03 pm
Melbourne’s deputy lord mayor says renewable energy investments can and should play a big part in the economic recovery from COVID-19
Some of Melbourne’s biggest universities and businesses will source their power from regional wind farms, as part of a multi-million dollar city council renewable energy deal.
Starting next month, Tango Energy will provide 110 GWh of renewable electricity per year to RMIT University, Deakin University, Cbus Property, ISPT, Fulton Hogan, Citywide Asphalt, and Mondelez International over the next 10 years.
The majority of the energy will come from the Yaloak South Wind Farm near Ballan, northwest of Melbourne, and will reduce greenhouse gas pollution by up to 123,000 tonnes per year.
This is the second purchasing agreement coordinated by the Melbourne City Council, following on from the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP1), which saw the council lead a consortium to buy up 88GWh of renewable energy and construct a wind farm near Ararat.
City of Melbourne deputy lord mayor Arron Wood said the two projects represented a five per cent reduction in the city’s emissions.
“The deal [MREP2] is equivalent to providing enough renewable power for more than 22,000 households a year. When you add MREP1 that jumps to enough power for 40,000 households a year,” Wood said.
He said that aside from the deal having a positive impact on the environment, it also made economic sense, especially as the country began to build back post-COVID.
“Renewable energy investments can and should play a significant role in supporting our economic recovery from COVID-19,” he said.
“We know the energy market can fluctuate a lot… the project allows the buying group to lock in price certainty. So it’s not only good for our planet, but great for the hip pocket.”
Business and government working side by side
Environment portfolio chair Cr Cathy Oke said the new deal was a significant step towards the goal for all of Melbourne to be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy, something that could only be achieved with private sector involvement.
“We have already reduced emissions from the City of Melbourne’s operations by more than 50 per cent in six years and we’re accredited as being carbon neutral – but we must do more, and we can’t do it alone,” Oke said.
Chris Hewison, RMIT’s executive director of property services and procurement, said the project was a way for the university to demonstrate sustainability leadership in the community, encouraging other corporations and businesses to make the shift to renewable energy.
“RMIT’s ongoing involvement in the Renewable Energy Project is an opportunity to demonstrate sustainability leadership in our community while driving significant progress toward our goal to be carbon neutral by 2030,” Hewison said.
Information on the two council projects can be found here.