Australian State Makes Largest Purchase of Green Power

The government of Victoria will purchase Aus$40 million of green electricity.

MELBOURNE, Victoria, AU, 2002-01-24 [SolarAccess.com] The state government will obtain 5 percent of its total power from energy retailer CitiPower. At least 5 percent will come from the Toora windfarm that will be finished by the middle of this year, with the balance from a variety of sources in Victoria and Queensland. “This major purchase will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is part of the government’s commitment to the development of the renewable energy sector,” says finance minister Lynne Kosky. The government is one of Victoria’s largest consumers of electricity and the green power purchase will lead to reductions in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, by 20,000 tonnes a year. The government will urge businesses to follow the lead and to source some of their electricity from retailers that sell green energy. The government recently suggested that windfarms and other alternative sources would generate half of Victoria’s household power within a decade. The 21 MW Toora windfarm is being built in South Gippsland by Queensland state-owned generator Stanwell Corp. The output is being sold to CitiPower, a unit of American Electric Power. The four-year contract has five extension options of one year each, and covers sites consuming 750 MWh or less, including institutions and office buildings. Victoria relies on the state’s vast supplies of brown coal to generate electricity and, as a result, releases high levels of GHG emissions. Federal legislation introduced last year requires retailers to source an extra 9,500 GWh of renewable energy, which is prompting development of wind and other green power facilities. The government hopes its green energy purchase will encourage new investment and development in renewable energies in Victoria. The Australian state is facing possible power rationing from a combination of circumstances, including a breakdown in base load capacity. Treasurer John Brumby has urged residential consumers to “shop around” to optimize retail competition that has started in Victoria for 2.2 million homes.
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