Regional Councils in the Hunter and Mid North Coast collaborate on groundbreaking renewable energy agreement

Through initiatives like the Powering Tomorrow project, local regional councils are expediting the transition to a low-carbon economy and proactively investing in a more sustainable future.

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Regional councils led from the Hunter are partnering to launch a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) project aimed at accelerating the adoption of renewable energy solutions as visible models of effective environmental stewardship and collective resilience in the face of climate change.

Led by the Hunter Joint Organisation (JO) in partnership with the Mid North Coast JO, The 'Powering Tomorrow: Regional Councils NSW PPA' project involves 13 councils across NSW, including MidCoast Council, Maitland Council, Muswellbrook Shire Council, and Upper Hunter Shire Council.

A Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) functions as a legal agreement between an independent energy producer and a buyer facilitating the purchase and supply of energy, with the buyer being the group of 13 Councils in this case. While PPAs are flexible and can encompass different energy sources, they have gained popularity particularly in the realm of renewable energy, such as solar or wind power.

The primary goal of the PPA project is to enable participating councils to access clean electricity at stable and predictable rates, thus enhancing budget management and reducing financial risks. The project is one of Hunter JO’s Hunter Net Zero suite of projects, aimed at to accelerate action towards net zero councils.

The PPA is expected to make a substantial impact, with emissions projected to decrease by up to 40,000 tons of CO2-equivalent annually. Most participating councils aim to source between 50% and 100% of their energy from renewable sources through this long-term contract, indicating a collective commitment to sustainability.

The urgency of addressing the climate crisis has prompted collaborative action among all levels of government, with this renewable energy PPA reflecting the growing momentum towards sustainable energy solutions at the regional level.

To read more about the Hunter JO and their Hunter Net Zero projects, go to their website here.

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