Renewables will soon be powering the nation’s broadband network after construction commenced on its first solar farm.
Set to kickstart operations in the later half of 2022, NBN Co expects the solar farm near Wyalong in NSW to power close to 20 per cent of the nation’s broadband connections.
Over 127,000 solar panels will be installed on the site, with 150 jobs to be created in the construction phase.
The electricity generated on the over 260 hectare site will be enough to power the equivalent of 27,000 homes.
The solar farm is just the first in the government-owned provider’s agreements, which it says will help its goal to switch to 100 per cent renewable energy by the end of 2025.
Last year, NBN Co became the 111th Australian company, including retail giant Woolworths and big four bank ANZ, to join the global RE100 initiative.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland, who will appear alongside NBN Co’s Gavin Williams for the sod turning ceremony, congratulated the internet provider on the milestone.
“It is critical Australian organisations and communities find ways to reduce emissions, and NBN Co, through its 100 per cent renewables commitment, is not only reducing emissions, it is also the first Australian telecommunications company and Australian government business enterprise to join the global RE100 initiative,” the minister said.
NBN entered into the 10-year Power Purchase Agreement with the West Wyalong solar farm in July 2020.
In a statement, Mr Williams said the sod turning marked the shift from “ambition to action”.
“It’s particularly pleasing that we are moving from ambition to action and demonstrating, through deeds rather than words, our commitment to reduce emissions and support the nation’s transition to a net-zero carbon economy,” he said.
“We have a strong commitment to helping make the network as efficient and resilient as possible.
“As we deliver on our company’s purpose to lift the digital capability of Australia, not only are we aligning with the latest climate science, we are also playing a role in helping support climate technologies and the livelihoods of people working in new energy jobs.”