Sydney Opera House
Image credit: Wikimedia

The Australian landmark and UNESCO World Heritage site, the Sydney Opera House, has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with local energy provider Flow Power.

This means that more than 85% of the site’s annual 16GWh energy consumption will be fuelled by renewables from wind and solar projects in New South Wales for a seven-year period.

The Sydney Opera House has invested its annual AU$2.4 million (approximately $1.67 million) electricity budget, as part of a total investment of over AU$16 million $11.2 million).  

Under the terms of the PPA, more than 85% of the iconic landmark’s annual energy consumption will be matched by supply from wind and solar projects in New South Wales, including the Sapphire Wind Farm in Glenn Innes, and the Bomen Solart Farm, which is being constructed in Wagga-Wagga, just over 450 kilometers from Sydney.

 “The Opera House is Australia’s first heritage-listed building to commit to this innovative energy retail model, joining a growing number of high-profile organizations leading the way towards a low carbon future through investment in large-scale renewable projects,” said Ian Cashen, executive director of building at the Sydney Opera House in a recent interview with PV Magazine.

“This deal brings us another step closer to our long-term renewable energy goals and will deliver significant savings in operational costs over its seven-year period.”

The Opera House has also saved over AU$1 million since launching their first environmental sustainability plan in 2010, according to their 2017-2019 plan.

Remarking on the vision of the Opera House’s designer, chief executive officer Louise Herron wrote “Jørn Utzon believed that efficiency was beauty. Efficiency is also good for business.”

In other news, Australia’s green bank, ARENA, has granted energy management software firm Greensync and the country’s national grid operator AU$12.5 million to develop virtual power plant projects, which can help balance the country’s grid as more renewables come on stream. Here's the story.