Cairns Regional Council signs long term deal with CleanCo

CASE STUDY | 9 Dec 2022

Organisation: Cairns Regional Council

Buyer: Government/Institution

State: Queensland

Deal type: Retail

Technology type: Wind

BRC-A member Cairns Regional Council will be the first local government in Queensland to sign a clean energy supply agreement with CleanCo Queensland. The 10-year deal will supply over 24GWh per year of 100% renewable electricity to Council’s 80 largest facilities from July 2024. Facilities to be powered under this agreement include the Cairns Performing Arts Centre, Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, Libraries, offices, depots, pump stations, water treatment plants and wastewater treatment plants. This deal is equivalent to the energy consumption of approximately 4,000 North Queensland households each year.

Council’s energy Management and Sustainability Advisor, Daniel Stronggrove, attended the BRC-A’s PPA Training Bootcamp in 2019, and the Council became BRC-A member in the same year.

The majority of the renewable energy that underpins the agreement will be supplied locally by the Kaban Green Energy Hub windfarm near Ravenshoe, with a small portion from the Western Downs Solar Farm. CleanCo has a power purchase agreement with both of these projects which are being developed by Neoen and are currently under construction. Wind and solar energy provided by these projects will be supported by CleanCo’s unique portfolio of low-emission firming assets which includes the Wivenhoe Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Station, Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station, Kareeya Hydroelectric Power Station, Koombooloomba Hydroelectric Power Station and the Swanbank E Power Station.

The agreement with CleanCo builds on Council’s existing three megawatts of on-site solar and provides Council with access to affordable renewable energy and stable pricing.

This agreement is a vital step for Council to achieve the commitments of the Cairns Climate Change Strategy 2030 of Council operations powered by 100% renewable electricity and net zero emissions by 2030.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the agreement with CleanCo is good news for our entire region as it supports local jobs in the renewable energy sector and reinforces the region’s clean and green reputation.

“As the guardians of two World Heritage-listed natural environments – the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest – it is our responsibility to do all we can to protect these assets and our lifestyle by taking action on climate change,” Cr Manning said. “Renewable energy is critical to Council achieving its target of net zero emissions by 2030 and the deal with CleanCo puts us firmly on that path,” he said.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni said the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan will be the biggest investment in clean energy and emissions reduction in Australia’s history.

“Far North Queensland has world-class renewable energy sources, and through publicly owned corporations like CleanCo, we are making those resources available to support our industries and communities to decarbonise,” the Minister said.

Council’s team was supported by Presync in this project, also a BRC-A member company.


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Image credit: The Courier Mail

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