The City of Melbourne is the first major city in Australia to be 100% powered by renewable energy. Fourteen members of the city’s leading universities, companies, councils, and cultural institutions got together to support the construction of the 80 MW wind farm at Crowlands. Crowlands is a small agricultural community about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Ararat and 128 miles (206 kilometers) from Melbourne.
Arron Wood, the Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne, said that Pacific Hydro has installed twenty-five turbines. Its goal is 39 turbines. Energy has already started flowing into the power grid.
Ultimate New Year’s resolution for Melbourne
“Making the move to 100 percent renewable energy is the ultimate New Year’s resolution. Every light on our streets, every treadmill in our gyms and every barbecue in our parks is now powered by renewable energy.”
“We are immensely proud to be the first Australian capital city council powered by 100 percent renewable energy. We were also the first group in this country to implement a renewable energy power purchasing agreement.”
“We have led the nation in responding to climate change, securing a sustainable energy supply for the future and have shown a great example of how a major city with a $92 billion economy can influence positive outcomes in our regional towns.”
The project created over 140 regional jobs during the construction period. It also created eight ongoing maintenance jobs. Maintenance personnel are people who keep devices, machinery, and equipment in good working condition.
In Crowlands, Pacific Hydro is installing a rooftop solar photovoltaic system and storage battery at the town hall. It will become one of the few town halls in the country powered by solar energy.
The City of Melbourne says that the Crowlands construction project should be completed in May 2019.
Plans to expand the project
The Deputy Lord Mayor added:
“Leading by example, we will expand the ground-breaking project to facilitate power purchase agreements for businesses across the city. This will continue to generate investment in new renewable energy which is the cheapest cost for new build electricity generation.”
“So it’s good for the environment, great for the economy with new jobs and really good for the hip pocket to manage energy costs into the future.”
What is renewable energy?
Renewable energy is a type of energy that does not deplete. In other words, we cannot use it all up – it lasts forever. ‘Forever,’ in this context, refers to a human time frame rather than a geological time frame.
Solar energy, which captures the Sun’s energy and converts it into electricity, is a type of renewable energy. The Sun is there every day, we cannot use it all up.
Wind energy, which captures the energy in moving air and turns it into electricity, is also a type of renewable energy.
Other kinds of renewable energy include biomass energy, geothermal energy, and hydropower.