Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

CPP Summit 2018 Q & A follow up

Thank you to the Summit presenters & MC Bruce Roberts who have facilitated the answering of the following  unasked questions due to time constraints.

Q1: How does selling or retiring the LGCs generated by a solar farm affect the business case? Claudia Inner West Council

A1: Note from Vicky Petersen, Brisbane City Council – You get a much better return on investment to sell LGCs (around $80) & buy offsets at an average price of $2.75 (95% international & 5% domestic) but increasing .

The NCOS standard provides guidance for LGC accounting LGCs are not offsets, you are purchasing emissions free electricity.  An LGC is a MWH of electricity not a tonne of CO2 avoided. Need to include state grid factor calculation for Scope 1 & 2 emissions where average emissions intensity drawn from state grid NGER scheme National inventory (low in Tas, high in Vic with brown coal)

Q2 for Vicky Petterson, Brisbane City Council  

Is Brisbane looking at investing in its own solar farm somewhere?

A2 – Yes, we are exploring large scale solar systems where they make sense (>100KW) – We have completed a feasability study for  a 600kW behind the meter supply system at an operating quarry. This project is currently In the planning stage, with the City exploring options with an electrical distribution company. To be funded from carbon neutral budget if feasible

The city is  looking at a 1MW solar farm to feed into the grid system at 2 closed landfills within the Brisbane City LGA. Will need to source funding if decision is made to proceed.

Questions for Tim Wong, NSW Office of Environment & Heritage – 

Q3 What are the issues / penalties / problems to keep in mind if the Council wants to discontinue the PPA at the end of the period and you have a large scale PV installation on the roof or rooves of Council buildings.

A3 from OEH: The approach to handling a decommissioning option would be worked out by the council and the supplier. Typically, the system would have a buy back option at the end of the PPA term for a nominal amount.Costs associated with decommissioning or buy back will be imputed in to the cost of supplying energy over the term of the contract.

While OEH has developed a standardised contract there is nothing stopping contracting parties from making any changes to the terms and conditions. OEH has no transactional involvement in the contract.

Q4 Is the OEH PPA worthwhile for over 100kw systems? Or is the 20% saving based on smaller systems? What about staging the install? Emily, northern beaches council.

 A4 from OEH – It is not an OEH PPA, the PPA is provided by the supplier possibly making use of the OEH contract. Whether it is worthwhile will be dependent on the offer from the supplier. 

20% is a representative figure based on a range of system sizes up to and beyond 100kW but that does not mean it cannot be lower of higher; once again it depends on the supplier’s offer. Staging can be arranged with the supplier and would be worked out prior to the commencement of the contract.

Questions  to EV panel

Q5 Our council has installed one electric vehicle charging station in our shire. The maintenance falls to council, and unfortunately the charging station keeps breaking down. This happens in and out of council’s core business hours. Council struggles to respond as we have many other pressing work demands and we are not available 24 hours. Given these constraints, do you think councils have a large role to play in installing and maintaining electric vehicle charging stations, or should it be more of a private sector enterprise as the private sector is so much better placed to respond to consumer demands?

A5 from Claire Connell: In the absence of federal or state government action, local councils have been playing a leading role in installing charging infrastructure, which has been important in driving EV uptake. While most charging occurs in the workplace or at home, NRMA surveys have shown that motorists identify visible roadside charging and regional town chargers as a primary consideration when deciding whether to purchase an EV. As such, Councils’ early work has been really important in encouraging EV uptake. We’re now seeing more investment in this space from federal and state governments and manufacturers. This should help to ease the pressure on local councils.

Q6: What will inner city Councils with limited on-property parking space need to do if residents start to acquire EVs? Will public domain parking infrastructure need to be on small residential streets?

A6: Claire Connell, ClimateWorks Australia – The availability of private and workplace charging has a strong influence in determining what is an appropriate level of public charging infrastructure. As I mentioned in my presentation the International Council for Clean Transportation has analysed jurisdictions with a high level of EV uptake, and has found that in the Netherlands where private parking and charging are less common, there is one public charger for every 2 – 7 electric vehicles. In contrast, Californian EV drivers generally have access to charging at work or at home, and there is roughly one public charger for every 25 to 30 electric vehicles (ICCT 2017). It is likely that in locations with limited on-property parking, more public charging will be required. However, it is unlikely that public chargers will need to be installed on every residential street, and installing public charging is not the sole responsibility of councils, as discussed above. The United Kingdom National Grid has considered this question from a long-term perspective. In the UK, around 43 per cent of residents do not have access to home charging. The National Grid has floated the idea of a network of high capacity fast charging stations, that will act in much the same way that petrol stations do now (National Grid 2017).

Q7: Regarding electric vehicles.. is there any research done and costings for  a second hand car to be converted to electric. There are plenty of good second hand cars around. They could be recycled.

A7- Claire Connell, ClimateWorks Australia – We are expecting more reasonably priced EVs to become available in the next few years, which is likely to be more reliable than retrofitting second hand cars.

Q8 -Would you please give any examples you know of where EV charging stations are required in Council building development standards? How many EV charging stations per 100 dwellings? Clr Phil Bradley City of Parramatta

A8 from Claire Connell, ClimateWorks Australia – As Anna mentioned on Thursday as part of the ACT’s action plan for the transition to zero emissions vehicles, the ACT Government has committed to “amend the Parking and Vehicle Access General Code to require all new multi-unit and mixed-use developments to install vehicle charging infrastructure”. She may be able to provide more detail on the ratio of charging stations to dwellings. I remember there were a few other Councils who mentioned similar proposals during the conference though unsure who specifically.