Street lights against sunset background

Bland Shire Council has struck a renewable energy deal with Iberdrola Australia, to provide price stability and reduce Council’s carbon footprint. 

The new electricity contract – taking effect from 1 January 2023 – will see Iberdola Australia supply Bland Shire’s large sites and street lighting for the next eight years.

The contract for 25 per cent renewable energy in the Bland Shire will reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions by 97 CO2e tonnes per year.

Bland Shire is one of five Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC) and eleven Central New South Wales Joint Organisation (Central NSW JO) Councils to sign the historic deal.

REROC chairman, Cr Rick Firman OAM, said bringing together the 16 councils’ energy needs will help to secure great pricing for larger sites. 

“By entering long term contractual arrangements our member councils will now benefit from stability for their electricity pricing arrangements,” Cr Firman said.

“REROC’s Energy Management Technical Group is continually looking for ways to achieve better efficiency in relation to energy use in our region, this switch to renewables for part of the supply demonstrates the way that regional councils can work with the state in the transition to net-zero.”

Director of Sustainability and Circular Economy Partnerships at the NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change, Anne-Marie Poirrier, has commended the councils in Central NSW JO and the Riverina on what she has said is an inspiring start to their transition to net-zero.

“This is an exciting demonstration of how regional councils can collaborate to drive down emissions and switch to renewable energy,” Ms Poirrier said.

Iberdrola Australia Managing Director and CEO, Ross Rolfe AO, said the new deal represents an exciting extension of long standing partnerships between his company, REROC and Central NSW JO member Councils.

“We are delighted to be partnering with councils in the Central NSW and Riverina Regions, enabling them to access reliable and affordable clean energy backed by our wind farms and flexible, fast-start assets,” Mr Rolfe said.

“We have worked with councils and communities in these regions for many years and we are very pleased to be deepening our partnership with them. 

“These councils have supported not only our strategy but also the Australian economy’s green energy transition. Looking ahead, we see many further opportunities to collaborate with our partners to create shared value for our stakeholders in regional NSW.” 

The new initiative follows the local success of the REROC led Southern Lights project.

Cr Firman is also excited to see the project in action and how it will improve the lives of locals.

“This project together with the amazing work of the Southern Lights NSW project, also undertaken in partnership with Central NSW JO that resulted in over 75,000 street lights transitioning to high efficiency LED lighting, demonstrates the way that regional councils embrace new ways of doing business to improve outcomes for ratepayers,” Cr Firman said.

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