Home' ALGY : ALGY Edition 24 2017 Contents THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YEARBOOK EDITION 24 • 55
FINANCE + BUSINESS STRATEGY
the savings and social benefits that can be achieved though
adopting renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.
The kinds of projects that are offering long-term benefits to
councils include the following.
Solar farms to offset energy consumption
Example: Sunshine Coast Council is building a 15-megawatt
large-scale solar farm at Valdora in Queensland, which will offset
the council's electricity consumption across its facilities and
operations. The council estimates that the solar farm will provide
$22 million in savings after costs over 30 years, based on current
Power purchase agreements from private solar ventures
Example: The City of Karratha in Western Australia has agreed
to buy solar from the Karratha Airport Solar Farm via a 21-year
power purchase agreement. The purchased power is expected
to help the airport to meet about 30 per cent of its energy
requirements, and save millions of dollars on energy costs over
the life of the agreement. The CEFC, through its loan to the IIG
Solar Income Fund, has assisted with finance for the Karratha
Airport Solar Farm.
Bioenergy from landfill and wastewater sources
Example 1: Councils are reducing the carbon emissions at their
landfill sites by extracting methane and harnessing it in gas-fired
generators. In 2015, the CEFC committed $10 million in finance
to specialist Landfill Gas Industries (LGI), so, by working with
councils, it could expand its Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF)--
ligible projects in Southern and Central Queensland.
Example 2: Sydney Water, which has been using biogas at
its wastewater treatment plants since 1999, currently has eight
sites with biogas cogeneration facilities. Sydney Water generates
the equivalent of 17 per cent of its total on-site electricity needs
through its eight cogeneration plants, three hydroelectric plants
and eight solar PV systems.
Sustainable public lighting experts at Ironbark Sustainability say
that, as of late last year, 97 of Australia's 560 councils nationwide
had undertaken energy efficiency streetlighting changeovers.
Some councils have worked together to benefit from economies
of scale and increase their ability to secure project funding.
Example: The Great South Coast Street Smart Lighting
Program involved six councils working together to replace
more than 7000 lights across the Great South Coast in Victoria
between 2013 and 2015. The councils applied for Australian
Government funding to assist with the changeover. One of the
participating councils, Warrnambool City Council, also used
CEFC finance to help it upgrade 2000 lights to LEDs, which use
77 per cent less energy than mercury vapour lights.
Councils hosting electric vehicle charging stations to
encourage community uptake
Examples: Brisbane City Council has two electric vehicle parking
bays at its King George Square car park, where electric vehicle
drivers can park at half price and charge their vehicles with
renewable electricity for free during business hours. Moreland
City Council in Victoria is also providing free use of electric
vehicle charging stations to encourage wider uptake of zero
emissions modes of transport.
How the CEFC's finance for councils works
The CEFC offers competitive, fixed-rate senior debt for up to
10 years, and a straightforward approval process.
'We also offer a three-year availability period over which
councils can draw down approved finance. This option enables
councils to prepare and rollout forward programs of works
with the certainty of knowing that the capital is available,'
'Our finance is designed to help councils target projects that
will make a significant reduction in their energy consumption
and carbon footprint, and the longer term of our debt enables
councils to spread borrowing costs to align with the economic
benefits of the project.
'Councils working together can apply to access a joint
CEFC financing agreement, and achieve economies of scale
and savings through the shared administration and resourcing
logistics of a larger project.
'While the CEFC is looking to lend to larger projects and
programs, we'd encourage councils to discuss their smaller
programs with us too, because we do work with major financial
institutions, such as the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and
NAB, which are helping us deliver smaller project finance with
options that may suit council needs.
'These finance options are also available to not-for-profit
organisations and businesses in your communities that are
looking to adopt cleaner energy technologies to improve their
Learn more about the CEFC's finance for local government at:
Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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