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Yarra joins major project to buy and promote renewable energy
20 April 2016
Yarra City Council has taken the next step in its sustainability journey by joining three councils and other organisations in launching a tender for the potential bulk purchase of renewable energy.
Yarra Mayor Cr Roberto Colanzi said that the tender would not only allow the project partners to potentially secure the best possible price for renewable energy, it could also drive growth in the renewable energy sector.
The group, known as the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, includes the cities of Melbourne, Port Phillip, Moreland and Yarra, as well as leading organisations in the education, banking and procurement sectors.
The tender is seeking the construction of a new renewable energy plant to be connected to the national electricity grid to provide around 110 gigawatt hours of electricity each year.
This should see the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project partners reduce their collective carbon output by over 100,000 tonnes per year.
“Our collective goal is to create economies of scale that will stimulate greater investment in wind, solar and other low-carbon energy sources,” said Mayor Colanzi.
“We’ll do this by demonstrating to providers that there is a large, reliable and ongoing demand for this kind of energy.”
Mayor Cr Roberto Colanzi said that the project fits well with Yarra Council’s longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability.
“Having become the first Victorian Council to achieve carbon neutrality in 2012, Yarra is looking for new and innovative ways to reduce our reliance on carbon.
“We view the potential collective purchase of renewable energy as an important step on the road to cost-effective sustainability, and we’re fortunate to be sharing the road with the City of Melbourne and our other forward-thinking partners.”
Tenders for the provision of renewable energy close on Monday 23 May and the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project partners will announce the next step in the process in mid-2016.
Further information about the project is available at www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/renewables
About Yarra’s sustainability journey
Yarra Council has reduced its carbon output by 38% since 2001, and now produces over 25% of its energy through low-carbon sources like solar and cogeneration. Council’s involvement in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project tender will potentially help it further reduce its reliance on carbon-based energy.
These outcomes have been supported in part by an unprecedented $3.4m Energy Performance Contract, which is delivering long term energy and costs savings at 18 of Yarra Council’s largest buildings.
In 2014, Council’s sustainability performance was measured against the One Planet principles and Yarra achieved an ‘International Leadership’ rating across all 10 criteria. As a result, Yarra became Australia’s first One Planet certified council.
Yarra Council first received Carbon Neutral Certification under the National Carbon Offset Standard in 2012. This was achieved not only by purchasing offsets against emissions, but also by reducing overall energy consumption and by drawing energy from a range of low-carbon sources.
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