Seven Melbourne businesses and universities have joined forces to purchase 113 GWh of energy in the second tender for the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP). The initiative builds on the success and insights of the first MREP project which led to the construction of the 80 MW Crowlands Wind Farm, near Ararat.
The tender for the second MREP released on Friday has not been made publicly available. The purchasing group facilitated by the City of Melbourne includes RMIT University, Deakin University, Cbus Property, ISPT Property, Fulton Hogan, Citywide Asphalt, and Mondelez International.
“This project would lead to university campuses, manufacturing facilities, shopping centres, retail stores and office buildings across Melbourne being powered using renewable energy,” City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood. “It will support industry in a rural area and provide a tangible example of climate change leadership.”
Melbourne already has a strong track record of climate leadership. While the City of Sydney was the first local government in Australia to achieve carbon neutral certification in 2011, Melbourne was the first Australian capital to become powered by 100% renewable energy.
Melbourne’s achievement came after 14 members of the city’s leading universities, cultural institutions, corporations and councils combined their purchasing power to support the construction of the 80 MW wind farm at Crowlands with a long-term PPA inked with Pacific Hydro for 88 GWh of electricity per year. As energy from the wind farm began flowing into the grid mid January, the City of Melbourne announced it had made the switch to 100% renewables.
But the biggest standalone renewables commitment for an Australian council was made last month by the City of Sydney. Valued at over $60 million, the plan will see the City meet its electricity needs using only wind and solar.