Phillip Riley

Westpac Becomes 4th Australian Company to Switch to 100% Renewables

Westpac has become the newest Australian company and the third major bank to switch to using 100 percent renewables. It also becomes the latest addition to the global RE100 movement and committed to source its global electricity consumption through renewable sources by 2025.
A news article on the One Step Off the Grid website stated that the announcement was made together with the news of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Bomen Solar Farm in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.
The PPA seals the commitment of Westpac to acquire more than a quarter of the solar farm’s output. The said project is anticipated to be operational by mid-2020. The PPA is also under a 10-year agreement that covers both the electricity and LGCs.
Westpac delivered a statement saying that the deal would deliver a 45 percent shift to renewables by 2021for the bank worldwide and would provide greater cost certainty on its electricity spend.
The bank’s off-take agreement with the 120MW Bomen Solar Farm is just a part of a bigger deal that will start a significant shift in the energy landscape of Australia.
The purchase of the $188 million New South Wales Bomen Solar Project by Spark Infrastructure is the first action to what the company calls a “value build” strategy, “beyond owning just regulated network assets and into a high renewables and decentralised grid,” the report states.
Westpac is the fourth major bank to commit to 100 percent renewables and the newest Australian company to join the RE100 movement, a rapidly growing leadership initiative spearheaded by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, an international not-for-profit organisation which provides the only global system for companies and cities to disclose, measure, share, and manage essential environmental information.
Westpac Chief Operating Officer Gary Thursby said, “We see our move towards the use of renewable energy in our operations as being key to delivering on our existing climate change and sustainability commitments.”
“When it comes to renewable energy, the advancement of technology and reduction in cost has presented a great opportunity to make this transition in a cost-effective way,” Thursby added.
He also mentioned that 71 percent of the bank’s lending to the electricity generation sector is made up of renewables- making Westpac the largest financier to greenfield renewable energy project in the country.
Westpac has also made a commitment to provide scholarships and support for youth facilities, local biodiversity, and vegetation regeneration programs in the Bomen Solar Farm’s community, the article further reported.
Read the full article here.

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