BHP to green Aussie mining ops through solar PPA with Alinta

Image by: New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment.

September 21 (Renewables Now) - Australian mining giant BHP Group (ASX:BHP) has signed a power off-take deal with power and gas company Alinta Energy that will underpin the construction of a 45-MW solar park in Western Australia.

The power purchase agreement (PPA) will allow BHP to meet all of the daytime energy needs of its Port Hedland iron ore export facilities with solar electricity by 2024. As a result, the site’s reported energy emissions will halve, as compared to 2020 levels, Alinta said on Tuesday.

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The contract will facilitate the construction and grid-connection of a photovoltaic (PV) park located around 14 kilometres away from BHP’s port facilities. The solar plant will be coupled with a 35-MW battery energy storage system.

The solar park’s construction is pending final regulatory clearance and is expected to be launched in December. While its output will cover the daytime energy needs of BHP’s Port Hedland operations, their remaining power requirements will be met with the battery and Alinta’s existing gas-fuelled power stations.

BHP’s medium-term goal is to slash operational emissions by at least 30% by 2030 from the levels in fiscal 2020. In the long run, the mining behemoth will seek to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2050.

BHP and Alinta have also signed a memorandum of understanding for a 45-MW wind project, dubbed Shay Gap, expected to become operational in 2027.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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