Sydney’s iconic Opera House has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to access sustainable electricity from large-scale wind and solar farms in NSW.
According to The Fifth Estate, the power-hungry building has a $2.4 million spend on electricity annually. The new PPA means that more than $16 million will be invested in wind and solar power over the next seven years.
The Opera House will source more than 85 per cent of its power needs from the Bomen Solar Farm and Sapphire Wind Farm, both of which are under construction.
The power of the PPA: Locked-in renewable costs
Sydney Opera House (SOH) management looked for more sustainable electricity solutions when their traditional energy agreement expired.
it was impossible for the Opera House to host its own rooftop solar panels due to the curving ‘sails’.
However, SOH Executive Director of Building Ian Cashen says the World Heritage-listed building should reflect the Australian drive for sustainability.
As a result his team looked for alternatives. The PPA offered a long-term energy solution that was viable both economically and in terms of green credentials. It will run for seven years with an option to extend.
The renewable sector often has large up-front capital costs balanced by fixed operational costs. PPAs are therefore a good way to ensure an ongoing income stream.
Sydney Opera House going for sustainable ‘gold’
The Opera House is no stranger to sustainable business. It is the first World Heritage-listed building in the world to claim a five-star Green Star performance rating.
However, it now has its sights set on winning a six-star rating in the next few years and sustainable electricity is a part of that.
The SOH recently gained Carbon Neutral certification under the Australian Government’s Carbon Neutral Offset Standard. It also wants to introduce reusable cups to reduce plastic waste.
Bomen Solar Farm part of sustainable electricity boom
The 120 MW Bomen Solar Farm is now under construction in the Bomen industrial precinct near Wagga Wagga in NSW.
Some 10 kilometres from town, the solar farm will power the equivalent of 36,000 Australian homes with sustainable electricity when completed.
Meanwhile, the University of New South Wales has also entered into a 15-year PPA with Sunraysia Solar Farm in western NSW. Australia’s top solar research hub will buy 124,000 MWh of clean electricity each year.
The NSW Berejiklian Government has also approved the 100 MW West Wyalong Solar Farm in south-western NSW. The $130 million sustainable electricity project also includes 25 MW of solar battery storage. It will save an estimated 212 tonnes of carbon emissions.