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14 NOVEMBER 2018 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linked In

large wind farm in rural NSW

Image source: Sapphire Wind Farm

Commonwealth Bank will source 65 per cent of its national electricity needs from renewable energy from January 2019, after signing a unique agreement with the largest wind farm in New South Wales.

CBA has signed a 12 year Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) with 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm, which will see the majority of CBA’s NSW and ACT operations powered by renewable electricity, predominantly from wind power. The supply-linked PPA is a unique corporate deal with fixed baseload electricity purchased alongside an equal number of large-scale generation certificates.

Under the agreement, CBA will receive 96,000 megawatt hours (MWh) annually from the Sapphire Wind Farm, which is part of the ‘Grassroots’ renewable energy platform built by CWP Renewables and the Partners Group. The wind farm was recently constructed in northern NSW. CBA is a key financier to the Sapphire Wind Farm Project.

Kylie Macfarlane, CBA General Manager of Corporate Responsibility, said: “We continue to build on our strong track record of reducing energy use, and subsequent emissions, across our branches and offices. With this agreement, we will further decrease our carbon emissions by 60 per cent.

“To be able to use renewable energy directly from the supplier for 65 per cent of our Australian electricity needs is a significant step towards transitioning to 100 per cent renewable electricity use.”

Alex Hewitt, CWP Renewables CEO, said: “Sapphire Wind Farm will add over 800,000 GWhrs of clean energy into the national electricity grid by December.

“Commonwealth Bank is taking the lead here as other large corporate energy users are starting to actively seek green energy direct from the generator.

“To have Commonwealth Bank as one of our direct buyers reinforces the fact dispatchable low-cost renewable energy is viable and economical.”

To further demonstrate the Bank’s commitment to a lower carbon future, CBA has also become the first Australian corporate to join the global RE100 initiative – setting a goal to achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.

RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, brings together the world’s most influential global businesses who have committed to source 100 per cent of their electricity consumption from renewable energy by a specified year.

Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group, said: “Around the world, forward-thinking companies want access to clean, cheap power that lowers emissions and increases competitiveness.

“As the first Australian business to join RE100, Commonwealth Bank will achieve exactly that, while helping to lead Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.

“Long-term renewable energy purchasing agreements like this support the development of new energy infrastructure and actively bring more renewables online. We’re confident that other major Australian companies will follow Commonwealth Bank’s lead.”

CBA has already implemented a number of energy efficiency initiatives across the country. The bank operates 20 Green Star rated retail branches and on-site solar PV production at more than 50 branches."

Source: Commbank