Australia’s Commonwealth Bank has announced bold renewable energy targets, trailing the blaze for other big corporates towards a clean energy future.
On the back of a 12 year power purchase agreement, CBA will source energy from the largest wind farm in New South Wales – the 270 MW Sapphire Wind Farm – starting from January 2019.
Under the agreement, CBA will receive 96,000 MWh annually from the Sapphire Wind Farm, which is part of the 1.3 GW Grassroots renewable energy platform built by Australian developer CWP Renewables and Switzerland’s global private markets investment manager Partners Group.
“With this agreement, we will further decrease our carbon emissions by 60%,“ Kylie Macfarlane, CBA General Manager of Corporate Responsibility, said, noting that this is a significant step towards transitioning to 100% renewable electricity use.
While the majority of power will come from wind, the PPA also allows for an expansion to solar and battery sources when stable baseload energy is required, teh bank said in a statement.
Earlier this year, CWP Renewables announced its plans to expand the Sapphire Wind Farm by adding a 200 MW solar+storage project had been approved by the state government.
“To have Commonwealth Bank as one of our direct buyers reinforces the fact dispatchable low-cost renewable energy is viable and economical,” Alex Hewitt, CWP Renewables CEO.
On top of the PPA announcement, CBA has also stated its commitment to source 100% of their electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2030.
This makes CBA Australia’s first business to join RE100, a global corporate leadership initiative that brings together companies committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity, including Ikea, Google, Facebook, Apple.
Some of the RE100 members that have their offices in Australia have taken their business 100% renewables, such as global confectionary giant Mars, which has signed a solar PPA for all of its electricity from a 200 MW solar farm in Victoria by 2020.
“Around the world, forward-thinking companies want access to clean, cheap power that lowers emissions and increases competitiveness,“ said Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group.
“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.“
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.