An agreement with energy company Flow Power means that by next year, all City of Sydney operations, including pools, sports fields, depots and buildings, as well as the historic Sydney Town Hall, will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

The largest standalone renewables deal for an Australian council to date will see three-quarters of the City’s power sourced from wind generation and one-quarter from solar.

The new commitment will see us cut our emissions by around 20,000 tonnes a year – equivalent to the power consumption of 8,000 households.

It’s also projected to save up to half a million dollars a year over the next 10 years.

According to Melinda Dewsnap, sustainability engagement manager – residential, “Partnering and investing in projects such as these ensures we run our cities on renewables and help build new economies across the state.”

We’re committing to buy electricity from Sapphire Wind Farm near Glen Innes in northern NSW, Bomen Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga in the south-west of the state, and a not-for-profit community-owned solar scheme near Nowra on the south-east NSW coast.

Flow Power CEO, Matthew van der Linden says the City’s commitment to buy its electricity from renewable plants is an important step in Australia’s transition to a low-carbon future.

“If just 20 percent of the market followed the City’s lead, it would drive investment in 11 gigawatts of new renewable generation – that’s double the current pipeline of renewable projects,” he says.

The community solar farm project near Nowra is being developed with Repower Shoalhaven and is expected to be completed in 2020.

“Over 25 percent of Australians live in local government areas which have now declared a climate emergency. We need to run our homes and businesses on 100 percent renewable energy," says Dewsnap.

Renewable electricity will power all City-owned properties from 1 July 2020.

Image: GE