Council signs on to local government emissions reduction project

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Indigo Shire Council is one of forty-six Victorian Councils to sign on to VECO, the Victorian Energy Collaboration, the largest ever emissions reduction project by local government in Australia.

VECO will provide 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 of the Council’s current energy bills and reduce electricity prices by using clean renewable energy generated right here in Victoria.

Mayor, Jenny O’Connor said switching to renewables just makes sense.

“This move is a key step forward for our emissions reduction plan, but also in addressing the climate emergency.” She said.

In July 2019, Indigo Shire became one of the first local government organisations in Victoria to declare a climate emergency and developed their Climate Emergency Strategic Action Plan with six key areas for action.

Cr O’Connor said that the collaboration is a huge win for the environment, but also the community.

“We’re not only reducing our carbon footprint but also our power bills, which means that for every dollar we save, is a dollar we can spend on improving our parks, libraries and community spaces.”

She said, “A small Shire like ours wouldn’t be able to do this alone, but this project has shown the power of collaboration to create a zero emissions future.”

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.

“Given Red Energy is born and bred in Victoria, we are really excited to be a part of a project that is supporting Victorian councils, their ratepayers and two new Victorian wind farms”, said Red Energy CEO Iain Graham.

“Our owner Snowy Hydro has been a leader in renewable generation for decades and Red Energy is delighted to partner with Victorian councils to provide a long-term energy contract that will enable councils to purchase renewable energy at a competitive price”, Mr Graham said.

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.

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