The City of Sydney, the central borough of the larger Australian metropolis, will now be powered using 100 percent renewable energy, a switch expected to save it $500,000 and 200,000 tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere over the next 10 years.
Two solar farms and one wind farm located across regional New South Wales will exclusively power the city’s 115 buildings, 75 parks, 23,000 streetlights, various sports facilities, and depots. The historic deal marks the most substantial green energy agreement by any council across Australia.
The move is expected to help Australia achieve its emission reduction targets faster, as well as generate new employment opportunities in the regions where the solar and wind farms are located.
“We are in the middle of a climate emergency. If we are to reduce emissions and grow the green power sector, all levels of government must urgently transition to renewable energy,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said in a press release. “Cities are responsible for 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, so it is critical that we take effective and evidence-based climate actions.”
The City of Sydney has long taken action against climate change. The city became carbon neutral in 2007 and was officially classified as the first local government in Australia to be certified carbon neutral four years later. The new clean energy deal is expected to serve as inspiration for other cities across the country to take similar action.