• A new deal has been signed by the city of Sydney in Australia with Flow Power for renewable energy
  • It will procure wind and solar power from Sapphire Wind Farm, Bomen Solar Farm and a community solar project to go 100% renewable in its energy requirement
  • This energy will be used to power all of the city’s operations as pools, sports fields, depots and buildings, including Sydney Town Hall
  • The city administration hopes to save up to half a million dollars annually with this deal for the next 10 years

Sydney has signed an agreement with energy company Flow Power to source 100% renewable energy for the entire city, to come from wind and solar power generation. Specifically, three quarters of the requisite power capacity will be catered by 270 MW operational Sapphire Wind Farm and one quarter from Bomen Solar Farm, a 120 MW project under construction as well as a not-for-profit community-owned solar scheme near Nowra on the south-east of New South Wales (NSW) coast.

Flow Power is developing the community solar farm with Repower Shoalhaven with completion due in 2020; the Bomen Solar Farm of Spark Infrastructure is scheduled to come online in Q2/2020.

Both Sapphire Wind Farm and Bomen Solar Farm have already been contracted to supply clean power to the iconic Sydney Opera House and transport products company Molycop for its Australian operations (see 100 GWh RE PPA Signed For Bomen Solar Farm).

The power contracted by Sydney will be used to power all of the city’s operations including pools, sports fields, depots and buildings, not to forget the Sydney Town Hall. This is the largest standalone renewables deal for an Australian Council to date, said the Government of NSW, and will help it save up to half a million dollars annually over the next 10 years, at the same time cut the emissions by around 20,000 tons a year.

“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 GW of new renewable generation – that’s double the current pipeline of renewable projects,” said Flow Power CEO Matthew van der Linden.

Sydney has increased its renewable energy target from 50% to 100% to be sourced only from solar or wind by 2030, but with this Flow Power contract, it is confident to achieve the goal from 2020 onward. Since 2006, the city has been able to bring down its electricity consumption by 26% with investments in energy efficiency projects. It plans to deploy over 7,800 solar panels to power its buildings by the middle of 2021.

With the federal government not yet taking any steps towards increasing Australia’s renewable energy goal once the country achieves its 33,000 GWh target in 2020, initiatives such as these at local government level are very welcome (see Australia All Set To Achieve 2020 RE Target).

The NSW government has separately launched a pilot project to provide a 3 kW rooftop solar system worth AUD 4,000 ($2,737) per installation free of cost, to up to 3,000 low income households in some designated regions to help them reduce the impact of high energy prices.