Aussie telecom Telstra signs 70-MW solar PPA with RES
Solar farm using thin film modules. Author: Thomas Galvez. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.
Australian telecommunications provider Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS) has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for a 70-MW solar farm near Emerald in northern Queensland.
The deal is with RES Australia, part of UK-based renewables developer Renewable Energy Systems Ltd (RES), which will invest AUD 100 million (USD 74m/EUR 66m) in the solar power plant.
Telstra says that while the electricity generated will not be directly fed into its facilities, the PPA will help protect the company from rising energy costs, while cutting emissions. Construction of the solar park is due to begin later in 2017, with start-up expected in 2018.
The Queensland government welcomed Telstra's move to underpin the 70-MW solar project, which will create 200 jobs in construction.
The deal comes after Sun Metals' decision to build a 125-MW solar farm in Queensland in a sign that renewables increasingly make sense for corporate players.
"It's commitments like these from major companies like Telstra that show the increasing importance of renewables in Queensland's, and indeed Australia's, energy mix," said Queensland energy minister Mark Bailey.