Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised a group of prominent Melbourne universities and businesses on the second Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP 2). The deal will power the purchasing group's operations using wind energy produced in regional Victoria.

The purchasing group includes seven large energy users: RMIT University, Deakin University, Cbus Property, ISPT, Fulton Hogan, Citywide Asphalt and Mondelez International, and is the second purchasing agreement facilitated by the City of Melbourne.

The new group includes 14 shopping centres, nine office buildings, seven educational campuses, and four manufacturing facilities, providing enough renewable power for the equivalent of more than 22,000 households a year. MREP 2 will reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 123,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of taking more than 28,000 cars off the road every year.

The supplier Tango Energy will provide 110 GWh of renewable electricity per year to the purchasing group over 10 years. The agreement starts in July and most of the wind power will be produced at the Yaloak South Wind Farm near Ballan, with the remaining energy coming from other wind farm projects in regional Victoria.

RMIT University's Executive Director of Property Services and Procurement Chris Hewison said the university was excited to lead the MREP 2 buying group, as the project clearly aligned with RMIT's desire to embed sustainability into all the university's activities.

"RMIT's ongoing involvement in the Renewable Energy Project is an opportunity to demonstrate sustainability leadership in our community while driving significant progress toward our goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. The university has benefitted from the economy of scale through the group procurement process and our united aim to be leaders and champions for impactful change in the communities we serve and beyond."

The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by energy partner and Australian head of power, Kelly Davies, and supported by competition partner Claire Forster, senior associate Amanda Scribante-Smyth, associate Kit Man Cheng and graduate Lucy Bessant.

Kelly Davies commented:

"Cities across the Australian market are proactively seeking change in a sustainable decarbonised future for their residents and businesses. The City of Melbourne, in conjunction with RMIT University as lead member of the purchasing group, have secured yet another landmark deal for businesses in Victoria that demonstrates the commitment of the city to achieve its goal of powering Melbourne with 100 per cent renewables. Congratulations to all of the businesses involved, to the market leading energy market advisory team from Energetics and to my team – a great team effort that has driven yet another transformational deal to execution in the Australian market."

Norton Rose Fulbright has extensive global renewable and project finance practices and has advised clients on corporate renewable PPA and renewable supply arrangements across Australia and around the world. The renewables team is at the forefront of the development of the corporate procurement of renewable energy in Australia and globally and works with the Renewable Energy Buyers' Forum, World Wildlife Fund and World Business Council for Sustainable Development.