The switch has been flicked on City of Newcastle's $8 million solar farm at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre.
It is estimated the project will save ratepayers about $9 million over its 25-year lifespan.
Covering an area of five football fields, the solar farm's 14,500 photovoltaic cells are now producing 7.5 million-kilowatt hours of renewable electricity each year.
"The solar farm is generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 1,300 households, which is a significant environmental gain as well as reducing Council's electricity costs by millions of dollars," Newcastle deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said.
The City of Newcastle will become the first local government in NSW to move to 100 per cent renewables on January 1.
"The solar and wind farm combination will mean enough clean energy will be put into the grid to power every sportsground floodlight, local library, park BBQ and every other facility the City operates," councillor Clausen said.
The solar farm was partly funded with a $6.5 million loan from Australia's Clean Energy Finance Corporation and $1 million was granted from the NSW Government's Environmental Trust, through its Waste Less, Recycle More Initiative, to the RRC.
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