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Powering to a renewable future

News Article Date: 
Thursday, 19 September 2019

Warrnambool City Council is part of the largest ever emissions reduction project undertaken by local government in Australia.

Warrnambool and 47 other Victorian municipalities have joined forces to drive investment in renewable energy through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The 48 councils will collectively purchase 250GWh of renewable electricity, an amount that would power 47,000 homes.

“This is a really exciting initiative and shows that when local government works collectively we can have a real influence,” Warrnambool Mayor Cr Tony Herbert said.

“In this case it is an influence that responds to our community and to the scientific evidence that tells us that the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, are adversely changing our climate.

“Subject to a successful tender, 40 per cent of Council’s energy will be sourced from wind or solar power.”

Councils have collaborated with the Municipal Association of Victoria to deliver the project, which was initiated and facilitated by the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances and Darebin City Council.

The PPA is expected to have a life of seven to 10 years.

Once in place it will mean that Warrnambool City Council will meet its 2026 Green Warrnambool Plan target of sourcing 40 per cent of its energy from renewable sources.

The partnership will seek a new electricity supply contract via a request for tender later this year.

“Council uses a significant amount of electricity to run street lights and facilities such as the stadium, AquaZone, the Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool Art Gallery and the main Council office at 25 Liebig Street,” Cr Herbert said.

“The PPA will mean that 40 per cent of the power at these facilities will come from renewable sources and as we move closer to the year 2040 we will be looking to increase that percentage.”

Based on Council’s power use over 2018-2019 the PPA would reduce Council’s annual emissions from electricity consumption from 5,160 tonnes of CO2 equivalent to 3,117 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

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