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Melbourne Renewable Energy Project – large-scale project driven by large users. Lesson for local governments?

The Melbourne City Council, in partnership with a consortium of neighbouring councils, Auspost, NAB, Melbourne universities, and Zoo Victoria, are calling for tenders to supply over 100 gigawatt hours of renewable energy for the City of Melbourne.

The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project is Victoria’s first project to be driven by large-scale energy consumers, and arose from council’s target to source 25 percent of the city’s energy from renewables by 2018 – a target which will require 15 large wind turbines, or about 250,000 solar panels.

With the negotiation of a power-purchase agreement the Melbourne project will lift a number of barriers to large-scale renewable energy suppliers, ensuring that renewable energy projects which were otherwise ready to start, are completed.

Proponents of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project are confident that this approach will work around the country, encouraging other jurisdictions to combine with businesses and other agencies to secure desirable clean energy outcomes for their regions.

Locally, the ACT government has adopted a similar approach to secure its goal of clean energy self-sufficiency by 2025.  However, the NSW Government did not include similar strategies in its program of making Queanbeyan and Palerang councils ‘Fit for the Future’.

A truly ‘fit for the future’ council would surely need to obtain its energy from renewable and sustainable sources.

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