TransAlta to supply BHP Aussie nickel site from 38-MW solar park

Solar panels. Author: John S. Quarterman. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

July 30 (Renewables Now) - Canada's TransAlta Renewables Inc (TSE:RNW) will build 38.1 MW of solar plants with battery storage to power a nickel mining site in Western Australia owned by a unit of Melbourne-based resources company BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP).

The Canadian independent power producer (IPP) said on Thursday that its Southern Cross Energy subsidiary will build, own and operate the two solar parks -- 27.4MW-Mount Keith and 10.7-MW Leinster -- and a 10.1 MW/5.4 MWh battery storage facility as part of the Northern Goldfields solar project. The total construction capital that will be needed is estimated at AUD 73 million (USD 54m/EUR 45.4m).

The project also envisages the installation of interconnecting transmission infrastructure to integrate the new capacity into TransAlta Australia's 169-MW Southern Cross Energy North remote network in Western Australia.

BHP Nickel West Pty Ltd will get electricity from the complex under an existing power purchase agreement (PPA) with TransAlta. Northern Goldfields is expected to help the miner reduce scope 2 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its Leinster and Mt Keith assets by 540,000 tonnes over the first 10 years of operation.

Juwi Renewable Energy Pty Ltd has been selected as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. Final notice to proceed is expected to be given in the third quarter. BHP said separately that construction works will take around 12-14 months.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.740/EUR 0.622)

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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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