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A new wind farm in regional Victoria has begun supplying energy to power Town Halls, bank branches, universities and street lights across Melbourne.

Fourteen members of Melbourne’s leading universities, cultural institutions, corporations and councils combined their purchasing power to support the construction of the 80 MW wind farm at Crowlands, near Ararat.

City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said Pacific Hydro has installed 25 of the 39 turbines required and energy has begun flowing into the power grid.

“Making the move to 100 per cent 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,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

“We are immensely proud to be the first Australian capital city council powered by 100 per cent 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 more than 140 regional jobs during construction as well as eight ongoing maintenance jobs.

Other benefits to the local community include Pacific Hydro’s ongoing installation of a rooftop solar photovoltaic system and storage battery for the Crowlands town hall, making it one of regional Australia’s few sun powered halls.

Construction of the Crowlands windfarm is continuing with the remaining turbines to be progressively commissioned over coming months.

The project is expected to be fully completed in May.

“Leading by example, we will expand the ground-breaking project to facilitate power purchase agreements for businesses across the city,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

“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.”

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