- NBN Co steps closer to 100% renewable electricity target from December 2025 following solar farm switch-on
NBN Co will today take a step closer to delivering on its commitment to 100 per cent renewable electricity purchases1 as a new solar farm it is supporting in the Riverina area of New South Wales goes live.
The Wyalong solar farm runs over 260-hectares and includes approximately 127,000 solar panels. It will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 27,000 Australian homes.
nbn is contracted to take approximately 90 Gigawatt hours per annum – which is around 62 per cent of the expected power generated by the solar farm.
This will contribute significantly to the company’s target of 100 per cent renewable purchases by December 2025.
In December 2021, nbn committed to a target of 100 per cent renewable electricity purchases from December 20251 and the 10-year PPA is the first in a series of renewable PPAs the company intends to make.
This commitment is underpinned by membership of the RE100, a global renewable electricity initiative comprising 403 of the world’s largest businesses. NBN Co was the first Australian telecommunications company and first Australian Government Business Enterprise to join RE100.
Construction of the solar farm at West Wyalong, which is operated by Mytilineos, was enabled by nbn’s first Renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Approximately 150 local jobs were created during construction phase, and there are permanent jobs supporting the solar farm operation and maintenance.
Another key outcome is that the solar farm will support additional renewables penetration into the grid once completed in coming months.
This is important as it supports Australia in achieving its target of 82 per cent renewables penetration into the grid by 2030 – as the nation transitions to net zero by 2050.
In early May 2023, nbn announced its commitment to long-term greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction targets and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, or sooner, via the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).2
This follows nbn setting near-term science-based emissions reduction targets2, which have now been validated by the SBTi, and are as follows:
- NBN Co commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 95 per cent by FY2030 from a FY2021 base year.
- NBN Co also commits to reduce scope 3 GHG emissions from use of sold products 60 per cent per device within the same timeframe.
- NBN Co further commits that 80 per cent of its suppliers by spend covering purchased goods and services, capital goods, and downstream transportation and distribution will have science-based targets by FY2027.
The company expects to submit its long-term emissions reduction targets to the SBTi for validation in the near future.
NBN Co Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Rue, said:
“The nbn network is Australia’s digital backbone, enabling opportunities to access online learning and healthcare, to build careers and businesses, to work remotely, buy, sell, and stay connected.
“We have a strong commitment to delivering on our purpose to lift the digital capability of Australia, while also enabling long-term social, economic and environmental value for customers, communities, partners and the nation.
“Not only is the Wyalong solar farm another step in our target of 100 per cent renewable electricity purchases from December 2025, it is also supporting the creation of local jobs, with knock-on benefits to the local community and economy.”
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