Sydney’s City of Ryde has committed to 100 percent renewable energy for Council’s electricity requirements by 2030.
The City of Ryde is a local government area located within Sydney’s north and incorporates suburbs including Ryde and Macquarie Park.
Council’s annual electricity consumption in 2018/19 was around 9,297,055 kWh. It’s a lot of electricity, but thanks to energy efficiency measures and facility closures over the years, it was 1,547,260 kWh less than in 2003/2004. It’s been quite an effort given the local government area’s growing population.
The new commitment is a big jump from the previous target proposed that we mentioned back in 2018 – 60%; which Council says it will hit without any further intervention. Council has previously copped a bit of stick about its renewables aspirations from some who still didn’t understand that installing solar should be viewed investment rather than an expense.
“The common refrain that investing in renewables will result in increased costs for ratepayers is easily debunked,” said City of Ryde Mayor, Clr Jerome Laxale last week. “It actually delivers energy savings as energy that was once sourced from the grid at a cost is instead sourced for free from renewables, which will result in savings for our ratepayers over the long term.”
A recent report has offered 5 different scenarios for Council to reach 100% renewables by 2030 – and all of them except one included more on-site solar energy generation. Any scenario Council pursues involving energy efficiency upgrades and solar PV installations will need to demonstrate at least a 7 year payback.
Ryde Council Solar Energy Use
Council already has a good start on renewable energy, with initiatives including partnership in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Moree Solar Farm that runs until the end of 2030. Under the agreement, Council is sourcing 20% of its procured electricity from the facility. The 19-strong council partnership will have the opportunity next year to approach the market again to further increase their offtake of renewable energy
Among City of Ryde’s current installations is Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre, which boasts a 300kW solar PV system, pictured above. There’s also a 32.76kW system on the roof of North Ryde Library and Community Centre, 7.84kW on Eastwood Community hall and a 26.15kW array on the West Ryde Community Center.
Self-generated solar energy is still a bit player in meeting the City’s needs, contributing an estimated 404,587kWh annually says Council. That seems rather low given the amount of capacity in place, but based on that figure, solar energy is contributing the equivalent of more than 4% of Council’s electricity requirements.
Further analysis has identified potential for another 198kW capacity on existing buildings, plus there may be a requirement for all new Council buildings to have solar panels installed.
The City of Ryde is a member of the Cities Power Partnership and also declared a climate emergency last year – so the renewables path is more than just about saving cash.
“As a Council, we simply cannot continue to wait while other authorities at all levels of government sit idle,” said Clr Edwina Clifton. “That is why committing to this target is such an important step in Council’s efforts to tackle climate change.”