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Major companies sign up to wind farm deal

Telstra is leading a consortium of large energy users that will buy renewable energy from a wind farm to be built in western Victoria.

The long-term deal, which also includes ANZ, Coca-Cola Amatil and the University of Melbourne, gives construction the green light on the 226-megawatt first stage of the Murra Warra wind farm near Horsham.

The wind farm, which is owned by RES Australia and Macquarie Capital, is expected to generate more energy than any other wind farm currently operating in the southern hemisphere once completed.

As part of the deal, Telstra will provide ongoing energy market services to the other consortium members.

The telco struck a similar renewable energy agreement in May when it inked a deal with RES for the 70MW Emerald solar farm in Queensland.

Executive director of Telstra Energy, Ben Burge, said by joining forces the consortium was able to achieve prices for 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," Mr Burge said.

"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."

Construction of the first stage of the project, which is expected to create a jobs boost for regional Victoria while also reducing Australia's emissions, is scheduled to start in 2018 and is expected to be fully operational by mid-2019.