Phillip Riley

Sydney Opera House to Source Power from Wind and Solar Projects

The Sydney Opera House is reportedly going green and reducing its $2.5 million yearly electricity bill by signing long-term contracts to source electricity from large wind and solar projects. It is also reportedly considering adding batteries in the future.
Based on a report by Renew Economy, the Sydney Opera House will undertake to purchase 16-gigawatt hours of wind and solar output a year from the Sapphire wind farm and the Bomen solar farm, which are both situated in New South Wales. This move is due to a deal with renewable energy retailer Flow Power and was announced on World Environment Day.
The Executive Director of the Sydney Opera House, Ian Cashen, stated that the purchase of electricity from wind and solar projects are equivalent to the amount of electricity that the establishment consumes every year and will be matched for approximately 85 percent of the time.
The report also mentioned that the 170-megawatt Sapphire wind farm is situated near Glen Innes in northern New South Wales and is mostly contracted to the ACT government as part of its own 100 percent renewable energy target by the year 2020.
On the other hand, the Bomen solar farm is installed near Wagga Wagga and was developed by Renew Estate. It was recently bought by Spark Infrastructure.
In an interview with Renew Economy, Cashen expressed they are pleased with the outcome and that the Opera House took advantage of the expiry of its current energy supply contract, “and with its goal of carbon neutrality, and its long-standing sustainability objectives in mind, set out to find a new green energy supplier,” the article reported.
“It’s a modest saving, but the important thing for us is that it is not just about straight savings calculations, it is getting some certainty as well,” Cashen added.
He also confirmed that adding or contracting a big battery is also an option in order to enable the building to get closer to “perfectly matching” the consumption of the Opera House via the production and storage from the wind and solar farms.
He continued, “What our modelling shows is that we can get, with wind and solar, a pretty good match. We tend to need a low but consistent load during the day, and that ramps up towards the afternoon and evening. This matches very well with combination with wind and solar supply profile. We might do a battery later on – we will keep our mind open.”
For the full report, click here.

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