The West Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) has announced a landmark deal that could see 51 councils make the switch to 100 per cent renewable energy.
Councils have until 18 November to formalise their participation in the project, which would make it the largest of its kind undertaken in Australia.
WALGA president, Tracey Roberts, said the agreement would deliver both the option for 100 per cent renewable energy for the sector’s contestable supply and savings of up to $5 million.
Mayor Roberts said WALGA had worked on developing the agreement with a steering group comprising senior representatives from a number of local governments.
“The enthusiasm for this project in the sector and the terms that have been achieved for the community are outstanding,” Roberts said.
“There is a genuine appetite in the local government sector to lead the way on zero emissions and the shift to renewable energy is a giant step in the right direction.”
Councils will access the renewable energy supply from three WA wind farms at Albany, Emu Downs and Collgar wind farm.
“Sourcing renewable energy from WA providers was a strong requirement of the sector and further supports the direct benefit to the community in supporting local industry,” Roberts said.
Cities Power Partnership applauded the agreement which will be Australia’s largest ever local government collaboration to purchase clean energy.
Cities Power Partnership director, Dr Portia Odell said the potential for cities and regions to pool their resources and invest in affordable, reliable clean energy was enormous.
“In July, we saw a staggering 46 Victorian councils partner up to pool their electricity contracts and switch to renewable energy. Forty-five per cent of all Victorian council electricity is now powered by renewable wind energy. And now, we’ll see this incredible example of collaboration topped by councils in Western Australia,” Odell said.
“Partnerships like these are showing the impact local governments have when it comes to collaborating to create effective local strategies that can lead to huge emissions reductions.
“Climate leadership from local governments is delivering the benefits that decarbonising our economy can bring, such as regional jobs, cleaner cities and cheaper power.”