Heavyweights join City Powers Partnership

A FURTHER 35 councils, including the cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Darwin, have joined the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership.

The new member councils were announced at the launch of Australia’s largest floating solar farm at Lismore, in northern NSW, on January 30.

The 99kW array at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant was a project of Lismore Community Solar, a partnership between Lismore City Council and community solar energy facilitator Farming the Sun. It is expected to generate about 12 per cent of the facility’s annual energy needs

Lismore City Mayor Councillor Isaac Smith (pictured, left, with NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW Benjamin Franklin)  said: “Our community is passionate about sustainability, driving the development of our new floating solar farm which we hope will inspire other councils to find local climate solutions.”

Climate Councillor and international climate scientist Will Steffen, who was at the Lismore launch, said there were now 70 councils, representing about 7.5 million people, in the partnership. 

“As the tier of government that’s closest to the community, local councils have the power to genuinely transform the way we generate and use energy,” Professor Steffen said.

Councils joining the Cities Power Partnership pledge to take five key actions across renewable energy, efficiency, transport, and collaboration. Partners can access a knowledge hub to help them with projects, as well as analytics tools to help track emissions, energy, and cost savings. Partners are also encouraged to “buddy’’ with other participating councils.