Bass Coast Shire Council media release, December 2022 republished from The Bass Coast Post
Bass Coast Shire Council has saved almost $30,000 and almost 2000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the past 12 months by powering its municipal offices, streetlights and community buildings with 100 per cent renewable energy. Bass Coast is one of 51 local governments to have switched council buildings and facilities to renewable electricity through the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO).
The renewable energy is provided by two wind farms – the 80-turbine Dundonnell wind farm near Mortlake, which started exporting power to the grid in March 2020, and the 99-turbine Murra Warra II wind farm near Horsham, which has just come into operation. VECO is the largest ever emissions reduction project by local governments in Australia. Since launching in 2021, it has grown from 46 to 51 participating councils in Victoria to now be the biggest renewable energy buyers’ group in the country.
25% cheaper electricity has already been delivered in the first 12 months, thanks to VECO’s collective investment in Victorian renewables. These savings are being re-directed to critical community services. This landmark collaboration demonstrates the value of local governments working together to tackle climate change. Approximately 172,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions have been saved by councils in the first 12 months, equivalent to powering up to 35,000 homes or taking 66,000 cars off the road each year. Savings are expected to increase to 220,000 tonnes per year.
Through the collective buying of renewable energy we have supported investment in renewables in Victoria, increasing energy stability and reducing retail energy prices. It also supports the delivery of Bass Coast’s commitment to achieve net zero council emissions by 2030.