Bland Shire Council has signed a new electricity contract with Iberdrola Australia to supply its large sites and street lighting for the next eight years.
Taking effect from 1 January 2023, the renewable energy deal will provide price stability for Council while also reducing its carbon footprint.
Bland Shire is one of five Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC) and 11 Central New South Wales Joint Organisation (Central NSW JO) Councils to sign the historic deal.
“The bringing together of 16 councils and their electricity needs has ensured that we secured great pricing for our large sites and by entering long term contractual arrangements our Member Councils will now benefit from stability for their electricity pricing arrangements,” REROC chairman, Cr Rick Firman OAM said.
“REROC’s Energy Management Technical Group is continually looking for ways to achieve better efficiency in relation to energy use in our Region, the switch to renewables for part of the supply demonstrates the way that regional councils can work with the State in the transition to Net Zero.”
The new contract is for 25 per cent renewable energy in the Bland Shire which will reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions by 97 CO2e (tonnes) per year.
“This is an exciting demonstration of how regional councils can collaborate to drive down emissions and switch to renewable energy. The councils in Central NSW and the Riverina have made an inspiring start to their transition to Net Zero,” Director of Sustainability and Circular Economy Partnerships at the NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change, Anne-Marie Poirrier said.
Iberdrola Australia Managing Director and CEO, Ross Rolfe AO said the new deal represents an exciting extension of long standing partnerships between his company and REROC and Central NSW JO member Councils.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Councils in the Central NSW and Riverina Regions, enabling them to access reliable and affordable clean energy backed by our wind farms and flexible, fast-start assets,” Mr Rolfe said.
“We have worked with councils and communities in these regions for many years and we are very pleased to be deepening our partnership with them. These councils have supported not only our strategy but also the Australian economy’s green energy transition. Looking ahead, we see many further opportunities to collaborate with our partners to create shared value for our stakeholders in regional NSW.”
The new initiative follows the local success of the REROC led Southern Lights project.
“This project together with the amazing work of the Southern Lights NSW project, also undertaken in partnership with Central NSW JO that resulted in over 75,000 street lights transitioning to high efficiency LED lighting, demonstrates the way that regional councils embrace new ways of doing business to improve outcomes for ratepayers,” Cr Firman said.