Since 1 July 2021, Council has been sourcing its electricity requirements through a Power Purchase Agreement, titled the Victorian Energy Collaboration or VECO. Buying electricity in the form of Large Generation Certificates (LGCs) allows Council to claim 100% emissions reduction for its electricity consumption, meaning that from 1 July 2021, Council’s main emission sources will be gas used at buildings and fuel used for fleet and plant.
VECO, led by Darebin City Council in Melbourne’s north, provides 45 per cent of all Victorian councils’ electricity requirements with 100 per cent renewables, reducing greenhouse emissions by 260,000 tonnes of C02-e every year. Provided by Red Energy, the 240GWh of clean power is equivalent to powering 48,000 homes with renewables or removing the emissions from 90,000 cars every year.
Initiated by and facilitated with the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances, VECO recognises the benefits of renewable energy for the environment and the economy.
The ground-breaking project will reduce each council’s current energy bills, and reduce electricity prices by using clean renewable energy generated right here in Victoria.
VECO is expected to save councils up to 35 per cent on their electricity bills, based on current costs. This will vary across councils, based on energy needs.
VECO is expected to save Macedon Ranges Shire Council over 40 per cent each year on electricity bills, based on costs in current contracts.
By joining the project, Macedon Ranges Shire Council will source its electricity needs for council-operated buildings, public lighting and markets through renewable energy generators. This reduces emissions from Council’s operations by approximately 3,385 tonnes CO2-e / year.
This emissions reduction equates to powering 620 houses with renewable energy, or taking 1,170 internal combustion engine cars off the road each year.
Red Energy will provide 240 GWh of electricity per year to the 46 councils in the VECO purchasing group over a period of 9.5 years, beginning 1 July 2021. Owned by Snowy Hydro, Red Energy is a 100 per cent Australian owned and operated energy retailer based in Melbourne.
The renewable energy will be provided by two wind farms in Victoria – Dundonnell wind farm near Mortlake, which started exporting power to the grid in March 2020, and Murra Warra II wind farm near Horsham, which commenced construction September 2020 and will be fully operational by June 2022.
Both wind farms have and will continue to deliver economic benefits to the regions during construction and ongoing operation, and form an important part of state, regional and local economic development.
More information about the venture can be found at VECO.