Renewable projects now make up 80% of Westpac’s energy portfolio

  • By Zilla Efrat

Westpac says 80 per cent of its lending to its electricity generation customers involves renewable projects, such as wind and solar farms and hydropower generation.

It reached this milestone after financing three solar farms in regional New South Wales (Corowa, Junee, and Wagga). Together, they will produce 220 GWh annually, reducing 180,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year.

Most of the power from the three projects will be sold under a 10-year “Green” Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Coles.

“Westpac first funded a wind farm in 2002, and since then has provided extensive support for the electricity sector as it makes great strides in transitioning to renewables,” says Anthony Miller, CEO of Westpac Institutional Bank.

“This includes providing financing to support $8 billion of total new renewable energy capital investment over the last five years.”

Westpac has tracked the makeup of its electricity generation portfolio ever since 2013 – a year when lending to renewables was 48 per cent.

“Westpac’s strategy is two-fold – we are focused on growing our renewable energy portfolio, but equally important, we will work closely with customers in higher emissions sectors with transition, helping them to find a sustainable pathway to net-zero by 2050,” says Miller.

“For business and banks, there is a huge opportunity to partner together and use finance to help drive better sustainability outcomes. It won’t always be an easy path, but we are committed to helping companies who can and want to transition.”