Nation-first renewable energy project recognised

30 October

City of Melbourne: Melbourne Renewable Energy Project partners and Pacific Hydro are celebrating after taking home one of the Premierís 2018 Sustainability Awards.

​The project, led by the City of Melbourne, has united 14 universities, cultural institutions, corporations and councils to combine their purchasing power to source energy from Pacific Hydro's 80 MW windfarm that's being built at Crowlands, near Ararat.

City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the award, in the Government category, was recognition of Melbourne leading the nation in responding to climate change and securing a sustainable energy supply for the future.

"As the first group in Australia to implement a renewable energy power purchasing agreement we're immensely proud of what we've achieved," the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

"From negotiating the complexity of 14 partners in one buying group to seeing the construction of the wind farm bring over 140 jobs to regional Victoria, there is much to celebrate.

"This is a best practice model that can be replicated all over Australia. We are working with other organisations to create their own power purchasing agreements, as well as facilitating another agreement for large corporate energy users in the city.

"We were absolutely thrilled to see the news last week that 18 urban New South Wales councils have signed an agreement to buy electricity from a solar farm 600km from Sydney. It's a great example of how major city economies can create jobs in our regional towns."

The power generated at Crowlands windfarm will be supplied by Pacific Hydro's retail arm Tango Energy and will save Melbourne Renewable Energy Project customers 96,000 tonnes of CO2 every year. Eight ongoing positions will be created to operate and manage the facility.

Pacific Hydro Australia Interim CEO Rachel Watson extended her congratulations to the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project team.

"This award is the culmination of innovation, persistence and a lot of hard work by a lot of people," Ms Watson said.

"The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project proves that in a federal energy policy vacuum, other forces will lead the way.

"Negotiating the energy conundrum to produce this outcome is a magnificent achievement."

Announced in November 2017, work on the 39 turbine wind farm commenced in March this year and is expected to be completed in early 2019.

MREP partners include the City of Melbourne, University of Melbourne, RMIT, Federation Square, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra, Moreland City Council, Bank Australia, Zoos Victoria, Citywide, National Australia Bank, Australia Post, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and NEXTDC.

The City of Melbourne will be facilitating a second renewable energy power purchasing agreement for large corporate energy users in the city. Interested organisations can find out more information by calling +61 3 9658 9658.




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