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Sustainability award for wind farm agreement

Friday, 17 November 2023

Barwon Health’s commitment to sustainability was celebrated at last night’s Victorian Public Healthcare Awards, with recognition for a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a local wind farm.

The Barwon Renewable Energy Partnership (B-REP) of Barwon Water, Barwon Health and GeelongPort was acknowledged with an award for “Creating a sustainable and climate resilient health system”, after taking a big step towards using 100 per cent renewable electricity and producing net zero emissions.

In late 2022, the three organisations entered the agreement with ACCIONA’s Mount Gellibrand Wind Farm near Birregurra for the provision of 68 gigawatt hours a year of renewable electricity.

The 10-year agreement will see renewable electricity produced at the farm and sent to a grid allocated to the three partners, offsetting the energy used at their Geelong facilities.

This will provide Barwon Health with 15 gigawatt hours of clean electricity annually for a decade, potentially reducing total greenhouse gas emissions by around 70 per cent or 14,700 tonnes per year.

Barwon Health chief executive Frances Diver said the award was fantastic recognition for an innovative example of public sector collaboration to support the region’s transition to renewable energy.

“Hospitals and health services consume a large amount of energy, and we believe agreements like this can significantly reduce carbon footprints and help our communities become more sustainable and healthier,” she said.

“At Barwon Health, we recognise climate change is an issue that demands action and there is a direct link between the wellbeing of our environment and the health of Victorians, especially those who are most vulnerable.

“We’re proud to partner with Barwon Water and GeelongPort on this long-term arrangement, and we thank the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards for recognising the significance of this partnership.”

Barwon Health was also recognised at the awards event with a nomination for an innovative paediatric audiology initiative for Aboriginal infants in the Geelong region, in partnership with the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative.

Minster for Health Mary-Anne Thomas paid tribute last night to the dedication, compassion, expertise and achievements of Victorian healthcare workers.

“Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of this year’s Victorian Public Healthcare Awards – our health workers and volunteers play a critical role in providing support and care for all Victorians,” she said.