RACV (the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria) has announced it is making the switch to 100% renewable energy for all its clubs, resorts and office buildings, through a mix of on-site solar generation and an off-take deal with the retail arm of Snowy Hydro, Red Energy.
Under the five-year deal with Red Energy, which kicks off on January 01 2020, RACV will purchase 21GWh of renewable electricity a year – enough to power 3,500 average homes.
On the self-generation front, the organisation will continue to roll out solar in partnership with Gippsland Solar, which last month completed the rather impressive installation of a 510kW PV system at the RACV Torquay Resort, on Victoria’s west coast.
In a statement on Tuesday, RACV CEO Neil Taylor said plans were underway to install another 2MW-plus of solar on resorts in Cobram, Healesville, Hobart (Tasmania), Cape Schanck, Royal Pines (Qld) and Noosa (Old) over the next two years.
“RACV is partly through a multiyear, multimillion-dollar series of investments in energy efficiency initiatives including the installation of solar panels, switching to LED lighting and upgrading inefficient air-conditioning units at our resorts across Australia and corporate sites in Victoria,” he said.
“These initiatives are expected to cut RACV’s annual power usage by 8,000 megawatt hours and cut carbon emissions by 9,000 tonnes a year.
“We’re delighted that the remainder of the electricity we use in Victoria will come from hydro, solar and wind power supplied by Red Energy.”
Snowy Hydro managing director Paul Broad said “on-demand hydro” from the New South Wales-based Snowy Scheme would underpin the contracted wind and solar generation, allowing Red Energy to supply RACV with “reliable renewable energy.”
“It’s really satisfying to play our part in RACV’s commitment to reducing their carbon footprint,” Broad said.
Gippsland Solar said it was keen to get on with the next PV project at RACV’s Healesville Country Club, as part of a larger partnership to installing more than 2MW (~6,500 solar panels) across all of their resorts.
“(The RACV Torquay) solar power and charging station rollout has been a tremendous challenge for our team, but the feedback so far has been nothing but positive,” said the company in a Facebook post.
“It is a great privilege to partner with our friends at RACV to deliver these energy solutions. Their commitment to innovation and sustainability is inspiring, and these installations of solar and Chargefox rapid EV charging stations will pave the way for a new energy future.”