Council partnership brings renewable energy to local business

A Sydney council is partnering with a renewable energy company to offer an aggregated Power Purchase Agreement for businesses within the LGA.

Kristina Photios

The model leverages council’s business data base and community connections to sign local businesses up to a joint renewable energy deal.

For former energy consulting firm turned PPA broker Business Green Energy (BGE), the approach helps it capitalise on geographically-based aggregated community PPAs that bring together businesses within a specifc sector or geographical area.

The local government arrangement gives small and medium-sized businesses access to renewable energy deals that are typically out of reach for smaller players, while helping councils meet their targets to cut emissions in the community, BGE’s founding director Kristina Photios says.

“The concept is geographic aggregation, where a council would be a natural partner for that,” Ms Photios told Government News.

“We can group these businesses together which on their own could never do a PPA, but together they can and they access these PPA terms which are significantly cheaper than they could get on the market.”

Councils are an important partner because they have a grassroots relationship with the local community.

“This arrangement is about partnering with the council, because they’re the ones that talk to their community,” Ms Photios said.

Northern Beaches Council, which has its own PPA with Spanish global renewable giant Iberdrola, last year awarded BGE the contract for a Business Community PPA in their region after putting out a tender.

According to Council, the more than 32,000 business in the LGA are responsible for 38 per cent of emissions, with electricity responsible for about 61 per cent of that.

Ms Photios says if the arrangement between BGE and Northern Beaches is successful, it will be rolled out to more councils nationally.

She said BGE has done similar work in hotel industry, with 800 NSW pubs signed up to a PPA in partnership with the Australian Hotels Association, and it is also working with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to bring renewable energy to pharmacies.

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