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Westpac Banking Corporation

04/17/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/16/2019 17:19

17/04/2019 Westpac commits to 100 percent renewables by 2025

17 April 2019

Westpac today announced its commitment to source the equivalent of 100 per cent of its global electricity consumption through renewable sources by 2025.

As one of the first Australian companies to make this commitment, Westpac Group will become a member of RE100, a global leadership initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, bringing together the world's most influential businesses who have committed to go 100% renewable.

The first phase of Westpac's transition will be achieved through a power purchase agreement with Bomen Solar Farm, to be constructed in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, and expected to be operational by mid-2020.

  • With a capacity of ~120MW, the Bomen Solar Farm will generate enough electricity annually to supply the equivalent of approximately 36,000 households
  • Westpac has committed to purchase just over a quarter of the solar farm's output under a 10 year agreement
  • It will deliver a 45 per cent transition to renewables by 2021 for Westpac globally, as well as providing greater cost certainty for the group in relation to electricity spend
  • Westpac, in partnership with Spark Infrastructure, the owner of the solar farm, is committing $1 million to support the community over the term of the contract. This includes STEM scholarships as well as providing support for youth facilities, local biodiversity and vegetation regeneration programs
  • Westpac's 10 year offtake agreement was developed in partnership with Renew Estate and Spark Infrastructure. Spark Infrastructure has acquired the project from Renew Estate and will build the solar farm through its associate construction company Beon Energy Solutions.

Gary Thursby, Chief Operating Officer at Westpac Group, said, Westpac has long recognised that climate change is one of the most significant issues set to impact the long-term prosperity of our economy and way of life.

'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.

'As the largest financier to greenfield renewable energy projects in Australia1 - renewables make up 71% of Westpac's lending to the electricity generation sector - becoming a customer to this industry is an important step for us.

'We're proud to be supporting the local Wagga Wagga community - the site construction and on-going management of the Bomen Solar Farm will provide local employment and supplier opportunities. We also look forward to seeing what we can achieve through the associated one million dollar community fund over the next ten years,' Mr Thursby said.

Some of Australia's largest energy users along with universities, state and local governments are committing to renewable energy via long term agreements. This is playing a significant role in developing renewable energy generation capacity with around $3 billion investment in new renewable energy projects in Australia driven by corporate power purchase agreements since 20162.

Spark Infrastructure ASX Announcement

Renew Estate Press Release

Westpac Climate Change Action Plan (PDF 888KB)

Westpac 2018-2020 Sustainability Strategy (PDF 2MB)

Westpac Supplier Inclusion & Diversity Policies

RE100 led by the Climate Group in Partnership with CDP

For Further Information

Emma Irvine

Corporate Affairs & Sustainability

M. 0466 928 778

E. [email protected]

1 Westpac Sustainability Performance Report 2018, $9.1 bn committed to climate solutions against our 2020 target of $10 bn. Source: IJGobal, by new financing commitments in FY18
2 Energetics' Insights Corporate PPAs already deliver 34% of generation capacity required under the Renewable Energy Target, June 2018