Telstra and Global Power Generation (GPG) on Friday announced a new renewable power purchase agreement, the $120 million 58-megawatt Crookwell 3 wind farm near Goulburn, NSW.
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said Telstra's involvement brought it a step closer to achieving its climate action goal to enable renewable energy generation equivalent to 100 per cent of its consumption by 2025.
"Last year we set our sights on doing our part to address climate change, the defining challenge of the 2020s," Mr Penn said.
"This country can become a leader in the global race to accelerate the renewable energy transition, bringing with it both economic and environmental benefits, and we're stepping up to help with this because it's the right thing to do.
"We have already achieved our goal of becoming carbon neutral in our operations, and now we are working hard to become leaders in renewable energy.
"When Crookwell 3 comes online in 2023, and is combined with our investments in Emerald Solar Park and Murra Warra Wind Farm, their output will be the equivalent of displacing the fossil-fuelled electricity used by more than 150,000 homes; more than half what Telstra uses in Australia.
"Projects like this reduce Australia's dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate the country's position as a renewable energy superpower."
Under the agreement, Telstra will pay a fixed price for 80 per cent of all the energy produced, which gives the company the security of relatively low prices over the term of the agreement. GPG will retain the remaining 20 per cent and sell it into the market themselves.
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GPG, part of the Spanish group Naturgy Energy Group, said the deal gave them revenue security for 80 per cent of the total output of the project.
GPG CEO, Francisco Busto said GPG is committed to playing an important role in the development of the renewable energy industry in Australia, supporting the energy transition with sustainable, clean and renewable energy. Crookwell 3 is designed to generate the equivalent to the energy needed to power 40,000 households per year.
"It will also contribute to the local economy and help building capabilities in Australia's renewable energy industry. During the construction phase, approximately 95 direct jobs will be created and a further six permanent jobs will be secured per year to support the ongoing operations of the wind farm," he said.
Mr Penn said that businesses had the opportunity to play a leading role in the creation of cleaner energy sources.
"We've seen the benefits these agreements deliver for companies through cheaper electricity and to local communities through job creation, as well as helping decarbonise Australia's energy grid," he said.
"Australia also needs an energy network that responds to demand quickly and Telstra is playing a part here too. During the recent blackouts in Queensland, we activated more than 60 energy sites, through standby generators in our exchanges and the output from Emerald Solar Park, to provide flexibility across the grid which helped to keep the lights on for the equivalent of 50,000 households."
Construction of Crookwell 3, comprising 16 turbines, will commence in the last quarter of this year and is expected to be fully operational in mid-2023. The project will also create opportunities for local businesses that can support the construction and operation of the plant.
The wind farm is the sixth project developed by GPG in Australia and the third one under a corporate PPA. It will be located next to the Crookwell 2 wind farm. Both projects will share the network infrastructure already existing, which facilitates its connection to the grid.
Telstra achieved the first of its climate change ambitions in July 2020, receiving Climate Active's largest carbon neutral certification in Australia, the second telecommunications business in Australia to do so behind its Belong brand, which gained certification in December 2019.