Telstra improving its environmental footprint

Media Release, 29 January 2016

In a first for Telstra, they have switched on the largest AC Grid Connect solar power systems they have ever deployed.

The Deer Park and Lyndhurst exchange buildings have had 30kW solar panel systems installed. The panels are expected to produce around 40,000 kWh of energy each from the sun every year.

All of the solar energy generated will be used to power the exchange buildings from clean renewable energy, and reduce our consumption of electricity from the grid at each site by around 10 per cent.

Solar panels on Telstra exchange buildings are common across rural and remote parts of Australia where they are not connected to the national electricity grid.

The installation of large capacity AC Grid Connect solar systems to metropolitan exchange buildings is a first for the company. Telstra Property Executive Director John Romano said it was envisioned more solar panels would be installed in the coming months.

“We have a long history of using solar panels, mainly at our small rural exchange buildings as the primary source of power where the electricity grid is unavailable,” he said.

“This is the first time we are using solar power systems at this scale in a metropolitan area, and could very well change the way we power our network in the future.

“Our network facilities consume energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week and account for 89 per cent of Telstra’s carbon emissions. Last year, we reduced our overall carbon emissions intensity by 27 per cent by closely managing our energy use and adopting innovative ways to bring it down.”

Our ongoing energy reduction programs continue to significantly reduce energy consumption at Telstra exchange buildings. These include exchange audits, optimisation activities, and turning-off redundant equipment.

Mr Romano said with approximately 120 large exchange buildings across the Melbourne metropolitan area alone there was a significant opportunity to continue reducing their environmental impact.

“We will continue to assess and monitor how successful these panels will be in reducing costs and the impact these buildings can have on the environment,” Mr Romano said.

“In the coming years we will look to further expand the rollout of solar panels to ensure that we can continue to meet the targets set out in our environmental action plan.”

About Telstra Exchange buildings

  • Telstra has approximately 120 exchanges across Metropolitan Melbourne.

  • They house the equipment necessary to provide landline phone, ADSL internet, NBN and mobile phone telecommunications (including wireless data).

  • In FY14 we set a long term target to reduce our carbon emissions per terabyte of data used (emissions intensity) by 55 per cent over the three year period from FY15 to FY17, from a baseline year of  FY14.