Thursday, 21 December 2017 10:23

Telstra leads consortium in energy purchase deal Featured

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A Telstra-led consortium of large energy users has inked long-term power purchase agreements covering the 226 megawatt (MW) first stage of the Murra Warra Wind Farm near Horsham in western Victoria.

The deal is the second of its kind for Telstra, following the agreement reached with RES Australia for the 70MW Emerald solar farm in Queensland in May 2017.

Under the agreements, the consortium members — ANZ, Coca-Cola Amatil, Telstra and the University of Melbourne — secured long-term supply and price security and, in return, Murra Warra Wind Farm secured contracting certainty over output from the first stage of the project and can commence construction.

Murra Warra Wind Farm is owned by RES and Macquarie Capital, and when fully constructed is expected to generate more energy than any other wind farm operating in the southern hemisphere.

Telstra Energy executive director Ben Burge said, by working together the consortium achieved market leading pricing for both energy and renewable certificates, at levels well below the current wholesale market prices.

“ANZ, Coca-Cola Amatil and the University of Melbourne have shown leadership on how to collaborate in this space. From a Telstra perspective, it is another example of how we can use our in-house capabilities to help our enterprise customers and some of Australia’s leading organisations become more involved in the sector, support renewable energy and make a sizeable dint in their power costs.”

The agreement will see Telstra provide ongoing energy market services to the other consortium members as part of the transaction.

Construction of the first stage of the project will begin in 2018 and it is expected to be fully operational by mid-2019. The project will collaborate with local businesses and community groups to create the opportunity for local supply arrangements to support the construction and operation of the plant.

Matt Rebbeck, RES Australia’s chief executive, said the consortium’s involvement was critical in underwriting the project, which would be an important addition to Australia’s supply of renewable energy.

“RES operates in 10 countries and is the world’s largest independent renewable energy company. We are very proud of Murra Warra which is a fantastic project with a high level of community support. Telstra has co-ordinated another landmark deal, which underwrites the first stage of this wind farm, which will bring investment and create a real jobs boost for regional Victoria, and reduce Australia’s emissions.”

Tim Bishop, head of Macquarie Capital, said Macquarie had a substantial and long-standing commitment to renewable energy internationally including on and offshore wind projects in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas.

“Increasingly, large users of energy are contracting directly with renewable energy producers and we see this direct engagement as a meaningful contributor to the world’s transition to a lower carbon economy.”

Murra Warra Wind Farm Stage 1 facts:

  • 226MW first stage, with a total permitted capacity for the project of 429MW.
  • Enough clean energy to power the equivalent of more than 220,000 Victorian homes.
  • Approximately 150 full-time direct jobs during construction and eight during operation.
  • Reduce CO2e emissions by 900,000 tonnes per annum, the equivalent of almost 320,000 fewer cars on the road each year.
  • Located approximately 30km north of Horsham.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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