Melbourne Renewable Energy Project - MREP
Moreland Council is now powered by 100% home grown renewable energy
On 1 January 2019, Moreland began purchasing all its electricity for Council operations from the Crowlands Wind Farm in north west Victoria. This includes all street lights, Council buildings, public barbecues, and electric cars.
As a member of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP) the wind farm will supply all of Moreland Council's electricity for the next 10 years under a group power purchasing agreement along with the Cities of Melbourne, Yarra, Port Philip and ten other private and cultural institutions.
Construction of the Crowlands wind farm is continuing with the remaining turbines to be progressively commissioned over coming months.
Expected to be fully completed in May 2019, as of January, 25 of the 39 turbines are already up and exporting power to the grid.
The project has created more than 140 regional jobs during construction as well as eight ongoing maintenance jobs. Other benefits to the local community include the installation of a rooftop solar photovoltaic system and storage battery for the Crowlands town hall, making it one of regional Australia’s few fully solar powered public halls.
In November 2014, Moreland joined the City of Melbourne, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra and a number of other partners in an effort to increase the uptake of renewable energy and stimulate investment in new renewable energy projects within Australia. The model established was called the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP).
What the project is doing
MREP is supporting the construction of a new 39-turbine 80 MW capacity wind farm at Crowlands, twenty kilometres north east of Ararat, in Western Victoria. It is owned and operated by Melbourne-based clean energy company Pacific Hydro, and the power is supplied by its retail arm, Tango Energy.
Under this project, members committed to purchase 88 GWh of electricity per year from the Crowlands Wind Farm under a long-term power purchase agreement. Moreland’s annual purchase is 8 GWh to supply Council’s entire operational electricity demand.
How this project benefits Moreland
MREP is a key leadership and innovation project that aligns with Moreland Council's corporate carbon reduction goals.
Participation in the project enhances Council’s carbon neutral position through direct purchase of renewable energy generated in Australia. It reduces the need to purchase GreenPower and international international carbon offsets to cover emissions from our electricity use.
The power of coming together
The project marks the first time in Australia that a group of local governments (including Moreland), cultural institutions, universities and corporations have collectively purchased renewable energy from a newly built facility.
Along with the City of Melbourne, Moreland believes in the power of coming together. The MREP approach enables cities, corporations and institutions to take an active role in securing renewable electricity supply and taking action on climate change. It provides long-term price certainty, enabling customers to mitigate the risk of increased energy costs in a volatile market.
Image: Pacific Hydro Australia