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Australia

Australia

Australia's first 'collective PPA' nears completion

AUSTRALIA: Universities, city councils and companies around Melbourne are in the process of finalising the country's first collective power purchase agreements (PPAs) from an 80MW wind farm.

The City of Melbourne (above) led the collaborative Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (pic credit: Chris Phutully)
The City of Melbourne (above) led the collaborative Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (pic credit: Chris Phutully)

The 39-turbine Crowlands wind farm in the south-eastern state of Victoria won a tender to sell 88GWh of energy to organisations including the University of Melbourne, the City of Melbourne and Bank Australia.

The group said it is finalising contracts with developer Pacific Hydro, which it selected as the preferred supplier in its Melbourne Renewable Energy Project — a tender the organisations launched to source renewable energy.

The group PPA is believed to be an Australian first.

Deputy lord mayor of Melbourne, Arron Wood, said: "This model can be replicated all over Australia and internationally, where practical, by groups of cities, businesses, and community members.

"This project adds to a growing number of organisations and governments going direct to market to purchase renewables, but never before has it been proven that such a large number of partners can come together and make it work."

The group also includes Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, public space Federation Square, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra, Moreland City Council, Bank Australia, Zoos Victoria, civil infrastructure and environmental services provider Citywide, National Australia Bank, mail company Australia Post, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and tech company Nextdc.

Arron Wood added that the consortium would be releasing a handbook about the group PPA, providing a roadmap for other groups interested in buying renewable energy together.

The Crowlands project has received all relevant planning approvals, but Pacific Hydro has yet to achieve financial close on the site’s construction contracts. 

Similar to the US, many Australian state and city governments are supporting the development of renewable power, in contrast to the federal governments' apparent apathy towards clean energy.

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