City-owned buildings to be powered from rooftop

The City of Greater Bendigo is investing in renewable energy, with a goal of having more than 70 of its buildings powered by the sun to help tackle climate change.

The City has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with Mondo Power Pty Ltd for the provision of renewable energy via solar panels.

As part of the agreement, Mondo has partnered with RACV Solar (which recently acquired local company Cola Solar) to deliver the installation and maintenance of the solar power systems.

City Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said through the agreement, Mondo and RACV Solar would install and maintain solar power systems on up to 78 City-owned facilities, with ownership of the solar panels reverting to the City after 20 years.

“The renewable electricity generated by the solar system will be billed back to the City and community tenants of the buildings at a competitive fixed cost for the life of the contract,” said Cr Metcalf.

“This will result in power cost savings to the City and the City’s tenants of approximately $2.4 million over the full 20 years and is possibly one of the largest solar deployment programs for a Victorian Council.

“The first four City-owned facilities to have solar panels installed as part of the agreement will be Bendigo Library, Bendigo Livestock Exchange, and the City’s Depot and Heathcote Service Centre, which will equate to 147kW of solar PV.

“The agreement is a key action of the Greater Bendigo Climate Change and Environment Strategy 2021-2026, which set a target to install solar arrays on 90 per cent of City-owned buildings by 2026.

“The City would not have been able to achieve this target without a substantial financial investment. By entering into this agreement, we can achieve the target without funding it through rates or borrowings, and this will enable the City to undertake other important environmental initiatives and projects.

“In addition to achieving power savings for both the City and the tenants of City-owned buildings, it will also increase the supply of renewable energy throughout Greater Bendigo for the benefit of the community.

“We’re excited to be demonstrating our leadership and commitment to renewable energy, and look forward to the first installation in the near future. As we continue to implement our Climate Change and Environment Strategy, the City will look for other opportunities to lower emissions in our community.”

The contract was awarded following a 12-month, three-stage competitive procurement process.

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