In 2017 the University joined 13 other organisations in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP) to commit to the purchase of 88 GWh of electricity each year from the Crowlands Wind Farm.
Facilitated by the City of Melbourne, the MREP consortium supported the construction of a 39-turbine, 80 MW capacity wind farm in north-west Victoria, which became operational in January 2019.
The University engaged in a competitively priced long-term power purchasing agreement (PPA) through the program, whereby it purchases 6 GW of electricity each year.
Powering the Victorian electricity grid
The Crowlands Wind Farm provides enough electricity each year to power 17,600 households, avoiding energy emissions equivalent to 96,800 carbon tons of greenhouse gas pollution.
As this exceeds the purchasing group's needs, the agreement has, and will continue to, bring additional renewable energy into the electricity market.
The MREP agreement has been a key contributor to Melbourne becoming the first capital city council in Australia to be powered by 100% renewable energy, supporting Victoria’s efforts to transition out of its dependence on fossil fuels.
An industry-leading approach
MREP was the first occasion in Australia that a group of local governments, cultural institutions, universities and corporations collectively purchased renewable energy from a newly built facility. The project was industry-leading in developing the consortium model, which has enabled other consortiums to go ahead in Australia. Through combined purchasing power with other organisations, the University was able to support the construction of the Crowlands wind farm, which generated 140 regional jobs.
- International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) 2019: Award Winner – Partnerships for Progress
- Premiers Sustainability Awards: Award Winner – Government (as part of the group procurement partnership).