Wind farm consortium signs ‘Australian first’ deal

Some of Melbourne’s best-known landmarks will be powered by a new 39-turbine wind farm, with a consortium of 14 organisations purchasing half its power output.

Three councils, two universities, Zoos Victoria, and half a dozen corporations have joined forces to underwrite a wind farm in western Victoria, Guardian Australia reports.

Led by the City of Melbourne, the consortium will purchase half the power produced by the new 39-turbine, 80MW wind farm near Ararat, 200km west of Melbourne.

“This is the first group procurement of its kind in Australia and we think one of the first globally,” City of Melbourne deputy mayor Arron Wood told Guardian Australia.

“We have really ground-truthed a new way of buying renewable energy. The true win is if this model is then replicated again and again.”

The group, which includes players such as Australia Post, National Australia Bank, Federation Square, Melbourne University, RMIT and the Yarra, Port Phillip and Moreland councils, took the idea to the energy market last year, with Pacific Hydro winning the tender.

Under the Melbourne renewable energy project agreement, the group will purchase 88GWh hours of power a year, and will set a fixed price for 40 per cent of the power, with the price for the remaining 60 per cent to be reviewed every two years.

The buy-in will see the City of Melbourne, City of Yarra, and Healesville Sanctuary switch to 100 per cent renewable power.