Three New South Wales council’s have joined to offset their operational emissions in a recent power sharing agreement with renewable energy provider Flow Power – promising a minimum 15,000t reduction to annual carbon emissions.

Shoalhaven, Kiama and Shellharbour Councils will be able to purchase renewable electricity from wind and solar farms in regional New South Wales to cover the operation of their large facilities including pools, administration buildings, street lighting and treatment plants from 1 January 2023.

The arrangements will see renewable energy added to the grid on behalf of the councils, offsetting their energy use.

This deal will anchor the development of at least two renewable energy projects on unused council land, delivering jobs and supporting local industry, while creating clean energy generators in these important regional centres.

Councils would also be able to get more value from their assets, such as their water treatment facilities and controllable energy usage to manage costs, improve local grid stability and encourage more renewables to connect by diverting more energy use to times of high renewable generation.

The renewable energy will initially be purchased from the Sapphire Wind Farm near Glenn Innes in northern New South Wales, and the Bomen and Cootamundra Solar Farms in the Riverina for the next eight years.

The Bomen Solar Farm will be used as a renewable energy bridge until the local renewable projects are completed and supplying energy to the grid.

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley, said the agreements would support Council’s sustainability commitments.

“Our increased commitment to renewable energy will see Shoalhaven Council cut net carbon emissions by around 15,000t a year from 2025 and help us achieve our sustainability commitments,” Ms Findley said.

“The construction of two new regional solar farms with Flow Power will also provide local employment and educational opportunities for the community.

Kiama Council Mayor, Neil Reilly, said it was an important step toward realising a sustainable future for local ratepayers.

“This is an important step forward for Kiama Council, our residents and ratepayers, in realising a sustainable future for our community,” Mayor Reilly said.

“This power deal is a major part of our Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan, which commits the Council to reaching ‘net zero’ by 2031.”

Shellharbour City Council Mayor, Chris Homer, said the partnership would expedite the council’s net zero emissions commitments.

“It’s fantastic to collaborate with my neighbouring Councils to further expedite the commitments of Shellharbour City Council in achieving our net zero targets and I look forward to a future of renewable energy,” Mayor Homer said.

Flow Power General Manager of Energy Solutions, Jacob Mahoney, said the company was proud to support local governments in realising their sustainability targets.

“We are thrilled to be working with Shoalhaven, Kiama and Shellharbour Councils on their renewable energy strategies,” Mr Mahoney said.

“This energy deal delivers on our collective mission to create a renewable energy future, together with people and communities. The ability to choose your generators is key to bringing more renewables online and we are privileged to be able to make that happen for our customers.”

Feature Image: Representatives from Shoalhaven, Kiama and Shellharbour councils and Flow Energy. Photo: Kiama Municipal Council.

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