Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Parramatta city to go carbon neutral with landmark agreement with ZEN Energy

City of Parramatta Council’s electricity supply will be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy following a landmark deal with ZEN Energy, delivered in partnership with Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC).

The renewable energy agreement, which was signed by 25 councils across NSW, is a key component in the City of Parramatta’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2022, as outlined in its Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

“As our City grows, Council is planning for the future, and that means taking action now to ensure we operate more sustainably and reduce our impact on the environment,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis said.

“In 2017, we set an organisational goal to be carbon neutral by 2022, and we are on track to making that commitment a reality. By shifting to renewable energy to power our City, we have made significant progress in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing our carbon footprint.”

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The City of Parramatta Environmental Sustainability Strategy (2017) also includes a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent by 2038 (based on 2015 levels).

As a part of this, Council has committed to obtaining Carbon Neutral certification for the 2022/23 financial year under the Climate Active Standard by reducing and offsetting carbon emissions to reach net zero.

The renewable energy supply agreement is the latest initiative implemented by Council to reduce energy emissions. Other measures include ongoing energy efficiency upgrades of Council-owned buildings and park assets; the installation of 371kW of rooftop solar panels on various Council facilities, such as libraries and community centres; the addition of electric vehicle charging points in two Council carparks, and a strategy to transition all Council vehicles to hybrid and electric power.

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City of Parramatta Council is also currently undertaking the largest LED and smart streetlighting infrastructure upgrade in NSW, in partnership with Endeavour Energy, with more than 3,000 streetlights being replaced. The $4 million project has been funded by the Australian Government through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) program.

The multi-council renewable electricity supply agreement with ZEN Energy commences in July 2022 and runs to 2026 with an option to extend to 2030. Worth approximately $180 million, it will deliver more than 214 gigawatt hours of electricity per year to the 25 council areas across NSW.

The renewable energy will be sourced from large solar farms at Moree, Hillston and Nevertire in NSW, and will power more than 300 major council facilities, 210,000 streetlights, and 3,000 council-managed small sites across the state.

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