Planning for the future

100% renewable electricity deal struck for the City

Renewable electricity is powering all City-owned properties since 1 July 2020.

Solar power farm

A new agreement with innovative renewable electricity company Flow Power ensures all City of Sydney operations, including pools, sports fields, depots and buildings, including the historic Sydney Town Hall, are now using 100% renewable electricity.

This is one of the largest standalone renewables deals for an Australian council to date with 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.

Supporting NSW renewables

Regional communities are living with the impacts of climate change. They’re also a key part of the solution, 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,” Melinda said.

We’re committed to buy electricity and renewable energy certificates 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.

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

“We need organisations to lead by example when it comes to their energy strategy. If just 20% 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,” Matthew said.

The community solar farm project near Nowra is being developed with Repower Shoalhaven and is expected to be completed in 2021.

With a construction cost of close to $5 million, the project will provide local jobs during construction and operation.

The journey to net zero

We’ve been certified carbon neutral since 2011. In June 2020, we declared a climate emergency. With this new renewable electricity agreement, we have achieved our 2030 target to reduce 2006 emissions by 70%.

Local government leadership is driving climate action in Australia.

“Over 25% of Australians live in local government areas which have now declared a climate emergency. We need to run our homes and businesses on 100% renewable electricity," Melinda said.

Image credit: Flow Power.

Published 22 October 2019, updated 13 October 2023