Tweed Shire taps wind and solar PPA for more than half its power needs

The Tweed Shire Council on the northern New South Wales coast will source more than half of its electricity from locally generated wind and solar energy, after signing an off-take deal with retailer Flow Power.

The Council said on Tuesday that it had begun a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement to source energy from the Sapphire Wind Farm, near Glenn Innes, and the new Bomen Solar Farm, near Wagga Wagga in the state’s south.

The Tweed Shire, which stretches up to the Queensland border, is the largest local government area on the north coast of NSW and provides services to around 95,000 residents over an area of 1303 square kilometres.

The Council has set a target for net-zero emissions by 2030, and backed it up with a Renewable Energy Action Plan, including energy efficiency upgrades and the installation of more than 800kW of solar PV across council facilities.

A further 750kW of solar is expected to be installed across more buildings and sites this financial year, council said.

The deal with Flow Power to will use the contracted wind and solar to power some of the Shire’s larger sites, and help meet its interim targets of a 25 per cent reduction of electricity-related carbon emissions by 2022 and a 50 per cent reduction by 2025.

“We have taken the lead from other large organisations, such as the Sydney Opera House and Newcastle City Council,” said the Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Chris Cherry.

“[The power purchase agreement] will greatly assist our nation transform from a reliance on brown energy to energy sources such as wind and solar,” he said.

Flow Power did not comment on the deal with the Tweed Shire, which numbers as one among many for the Melbourne-based renewable energy retailer.

Among some of its bigger deals, Flow Power helped the City of Adelaide to reach 100 per cent renewables in July this year, via a contract to source power from the 56.7MW Clements Gap wind farm in the mid-north of South Australia, and from solar farms being built in Coonalpyn and Streaky Bay.

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