In 2017 we announced our partnership in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project to source 100% of Council’s electricity from local renewable energy for 10 years.
With significant energy efficiency works already implemented and solar installations on our buildings reaching capacity, the next step to reduce our emissions was for us to explore purchasing renewable energy for the remainder of our electricity needs.
In an Australian first, the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project brought together the purchasing power of 14 partners, including universities, cultural institutions, corporations and councils, to drive the construction of a new wind farm.
Located near Ararat, the wind farm at Crowlands will see 39 new turbines come online in 2019, and create 140 new jobs during construction. The wind farm will be owned and operated by Melbourne-based clean energy company Pacific Hydro.
Purchasing our electricity through the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project will help us surpass our target of 60% emissions reduction from 2001 levels, achieving a total emissions reduction of approximately 75%. The long-term nature of the project, combined with the combined purchasing power, provides competitive electricity rates and reduces long term price volatility.
The wind farm is expected to save over 96,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year from entering the atmosphere. This is the equivalent to the emissions from over 16,000 average Yarra houses each year. Excess power generated will be fed back into the grid to be used by businesses and households across south-western Victoria.
We believe in the power of coming together. The MREP approach enables cities, corporations and institutions to take control of securing renewable electricity supply and taking action on climate change. As an Australian first, we have lots of insight to share. The City of Melbourne has developed a guide to help others navigate large scale renewable energy procurement.
Construction of the new wind farm began March 2018; for ongoing project updates visit Pacific Hydros Crowlands wind farm webpage