Golden Plains Shire Council is one of forty-six Victorian Councils to sign on to VECO, the Victorian Energy Collaboration, the largest ever emissions reduction project by local government in Australia.
VECO, led by Darebin City Council in Melbourne’s north, will provide 25 per cent of all Victorian councils’ electricity requirements with 100 per cent renewables, reducing greenhouse emissions by 260,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.
Provided by Red Energy, the 240GWh of clean power is equivalent to powering 48,000 homes with renewables or removing the emissions from 90,000 cars every year.
Initiated by and facilitated with the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances, VECO recognises the benefits of renewable energy for the environment and the economy.
The ground-breaking project will likely reduce each council’s current energy bills and reduce electricity prices by using clean renewable energy generated in Victoria.
By joining the project, Golden Plains Shire will power 100 per cent of its total energy use with renewables energy, including all facilities, streetlights and infrastructure managed by Council.
Mayor Cr Helena Kirby says Council is proud to join 45 other municipalities in signing-up to the VECO project.
“Golden Plains Shire Council is leading the way as one of 46 Victorian councils to form the largest ever emissions reduction project by local government in Australia. The Victorian Energy Collaboration is a really exciting project that made a lot sense for Council to join.
“While the Golden Plains Civic Centre and some of our kindergartens already receive some of their power from solar systems, through joining the VECO project, Council will move to using renewable energy to power 100 per cent of our offices, recreation facilities, community centres, streetlights and infrastructure.
“Council is committed to doing its part to reduce emissions and combat climate change. In addition to joining the VECO project, Council has recently replaced the old petrol-powered Mayoral vehicle with a hybrid, and in April Council committed to developing an Emissions Reduction Action Plan.”
Red Energy will provide 240 GWh of electricity per year to the 46 councils in the VECO purchasing group over a period of 9.5 years, beginning 1 July 2021.
Owned by Snowy Hydro, Red Energy is a 100 per cent Australian owned and operated energy retailer based in Melbourne.
“Given Red Energy is born and bred in Victoria, we are really excited to be a part of a project that is supporting Victorian councils, their ratepayers and two new Victorian wind farms”, said Red Energy CEO Iain Graham.
“Our owner Snowy Hydro has been a leader in renewable generation for decades and Red Energy is delighted to partner with Victorian councils to provide a long-term energy contract that will enable councils to purchase renewable energy at a competitive price”, Mr Graham said.
The renewable energy will be provided by two wind farms in Victoria – Dundonnell wind farm near Mortlake, which started exporting power to the grid in March 2020, and Murra Warra II wind farm near Horsham, which commenced construction September 2020 and will be fully operational by June 2022.
Both wind farms have and will continue to deliver economic benefits to the regions during construction and ongoing operation, and form an important part of state, regional and local economic development.