By 2024, 100% of the carbon neutral energy Real Utilities will supply its customers will come from renewable sources such as solar and wind farms. Until then, we’ll continue to use certified carbon offsets, with one project in particular a major beneficiary.
It’s a hydro-electric project located in the south-west district of Sikkim, about 5 kilometres upstream of the major town of Jorethang. The project’s goal is to capture the hydroelectric energy potential of the Rangit River, to generate zero emission electricity. It was completed by Dans Energy and has supplied renewable energy since its commissioning in 2015.
The plant has an installed capacity of 96 MW and a total average annual energy generation (50% dependable year) of around 535 million GWh. It’s what’s known as a run-of-river scheme with minimal storage of 0.63 MCM and, in addition to creating jobs, it renders no people homeless or landless.
The Real Utilities contribution to the positive carbon impact of this project is substantial. Jorethang Loop was initially part of the UNFCCC certified projects platform that reduce, avoid or remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. UNFCCC projects are implemented in developing countries and are rewarded with Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), a carbon offset measured in tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
The CERs are available for purchase to offset emissions or in support of the projects with the full contributions going directly to those projects. Real Utilities has purchased all available CERs for Jorethang Loop, so as to remove it from the UNFCCC list.
Real Utilities supplies energy that is Climate Active-certified and 100% carbon neutral.
Businesses with Climate Active certification have reached a state of achieving net zero emissions - or carbon neutrality - meaning there are no negative impacts on the climate as a result of running the business or producing a product.
Apart from eliminating emissions, companies can purchase carbon offsets to achieve carbon neutrality. These offsets essentially compensate for the emissions a business produces, to help bring its carbon footprint down to zero.
Offset units are generated by projects that reduce, remove or capture emissions from the atmosphere – typically in the form of reforestation, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
By 2024, Real Utilities will provide 100% of our customers’ energy needs through Australian renewable energy sources, including on-site solar generation and energy from off-site solar and wind farms, so as to no longer rely on carbon offsets. The seven-year renewable energy certificate purchase agreement struck between Frasers Property Australia and Origin Energy in 2021 makes this possible.
In the meantime, we’re proud to be making a positive difference both locally, in the communities and buildings we service, and overseas through the Jorethang Loop Hydroelectric Power Project.