By Gabrielle Murphy, University of Melbourne

As partner in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP), the University of Melbourne was named with the Cities of Melbourne, Moreland, Yarra and Port Phillip and 9 other partners –including RMIT – as winner of the government category at this year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

With the University’s Director of Corporate Finance Daniel Baird and Associate Director of Sustainability Clare Walker in attendance, Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood accepted the award on behalf of the group.

Clare Walker (second from left) and Daniel Baird (second from right) were happy to accept the Premier’s Sustainability Award in the government category at the Forum Theatre.

Underpinned by a belief in the power of coming together, MREP marks the first time in Australia that a group of local governments, cultural institutions, universities and corporations have collectively purchased renewable energy from a newly-built facility.

As a result of work including the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, the University will be able to purchase renewable energy equivalent to our current electricity demand, thereby achieving our Sustainability Plan target of net zero emissions from electricity well in advance of the target date of 2021. In fact, the University is on track to achieve this laudable aim by the end of 2019 and boosts progress towards our longer-term target of carbon neutrality before 2030.

MREP members have committed to purchase 88GWh of electricity per year from the Crowlands Wind Farm near Ararat under a long-term power purchase agreement.

Melbourne Renewable Energy Project partners and achievements.

The MREP approach enables cities, corporations and institutions to take an active role in securing renewable electricity supply and to take action on climate change. It provides long-term price certainty and will be critical to partner organisations achieving their ambitious CO2 reduction targets. Significantly, it also represents a replicable model for other projects around the world to follow.

Partnership projects such as MREP enable the University to dramatically reduce our emissions, manage ongoing energy costs and demonstrate our commitment to a more sustainable future.

Interested in sustainability? Explore these upcoming sustainable campus events.