Australian local governments to sign renewable energy PPAs

Out-Law News | 27 Oct 2021 | 6:45 am | 1 min. read

Local governments in Western Australia are set to sign up to an agreement to purchase power from renewable sources under a reportedly ‘Australian first’ renewables and carbon offset aggregation project.

This follows last week’s announcement that local governments in New South Wales (NSW) are partnering to develop a renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) through Procurement Australia, which could see those councils adopt 100% renewable energy from 2023.

According to an announcement of the Western Australian (WA) Local Government Association (WALGA), 51 WA local governments will sign up to an aggregated renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA), which will allow them to fulfil their electricity demands with 100% renewable energy.

It said the agreement had the potential to deliver 100% renewable energy to those local governments and to generate up to A$5 million in savings.

Toby Evans, a renewable energy expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “WA’s renewable energy industry is really set to boom, particularly offshore wind and hydrogen, and tangible actions like this, from government at all levels, send the right investment signals to the market. It also shows real leadership from WA’s local government sector in moving Australia towards ‘net zero’ by 2050 – in line with Australia’s recent commitment ahead of the United Nations COP26 climate conference.”

The WA local government initiative is the first renewables and carbon offset aggregation project granted authorisation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It will access the renewable energy supply from three WA wind farms at Albany, Emu Downs and Collgar wind farm.

Local governments have until 18 November to formalise their participation in the project.

In NSW, according to a statement, Procurement Australia will progress to an industry consultation and product build stage. Then there will be a tender stage in 2022. The NSW PPA will deliver participants 100% renewable energy via a phased and flexible starting date from January 2023.

In May, 46 of Victoria’s local governments signed up to the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) project which is the largest emission reduction project in Australia. Once all 79 councils have joined, 45% of Victorian council electricity will be generated from wind energy.