Travelers heading to Australia in the future may be interested to learn that central Sydney is now powered using 100% renewable electricity, generated from wind and solar farms in regional New South Wales. A new green electricity deal is seeing all of the operations in the City of Sydney, which is the central borough of the Sydney metropolitan area, operating on renewable electricity from locally-sourced clean energy.

An aerial view of the City of Sydney
Central Sydney is now powered using 100% renewable electricity © Andy Hocknell / EyeEm via Getty Images

This includes street lights, pools, sports fields, depots, buildings and the historic Sydney Town Hall. The initiative is projected to reduce C02 emissions by around 20,000 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to the power consumption of more than 6000 households. The City of Sydney covers the city centre and more than 30 suburbs within its boundaries. It was certified carbon neutral in 2011, and says its AUS$60m (US$41.92m) power purchase agreement with retailer Flow Power will see it reaching its 2030 target of reducing emissions by 70% by 2024, six years early.

Around three-quarters of the power will be wind-generated, and the remaining quarter generated by solar power. The project will see renewable energy being sourced from three different generators - the Bomen Solar Farm in Wagga Wagga, Sapphire Wind Farm near Inverell and the Shoalhaven solar farm in Nowra. The Shoalhaven project is being developed by Flow Power in partnership with local community group Repower Shoalhaven, and upon completion, it will have around 10,000 panels and will generate enough energy to power 1500 homes.

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The new scheme will generate jobs, support communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and create new opportunities in drought-affected regional NSW. “Cities are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, so it is critical that we take effective and evidence-based climate actions," says City of Sydney lord mayor, Clover Moore.

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