Energy efficiency initiatives

Since 2016, the City has been investing in energy efficiency initiatives, such as installing rooftop solar and LED lights, which has translated into significant savings for ratepayers. Replacing 6,500 street lights with LEDs, for example, has saved ratepayers $800,000 a year.

One of its most notable projects to date is Alexandra Canal Depot in Alexandria, which is powered by 1,600 solar panels and features the state’s first grid-scale Tesla battery, which can store up to 500 kWh of electricity. The City of Sydney and Transgrid were the project partners realizing this application as part of a behind-the-meter energy storage trial.

On top of that, the City has installed solar panels on more than 30 of its office buildings, pools, libraries and community centers, including Sydney Markets (8,594  panels), Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool (85 panels), Sydney Town Hall (240 panels), Redfern Oval (211 panels), Australia Post building on Cleveland Street (1000+ panels), Surry Hills Library (32 panels), as well as the International Convention Centre Sydney in Darling Harbour, which is home to a community-funded 520 kW solar PV installation. At the Darling Harbour array, the solar panels are owned by members of the general public. 

By mid-2021, the City plans to have more than 7,800 solar panels generating power for its buildings. It has also partnered with Ausgrid to fast-track the upgrade of 9,500 utility-owned street lights to LED, which will save around $1 million in annual maintenance and energy costs.

While the City of Sydney was the first local government in Australia to achieve carbon neutral certification in 2011, Melbourne was the first Australian capital to become powered by 100% renewable energy.  On Wednesday, the City of Sydney was joined by the City of Adelaide in announcing a complete shift to 100% renewable energy.

Source: PV Magzine Australia

Image: City of Sydney (The historic Sydney Town Hall)