BHP is partnering with TransAlta to construct two solar farms and a battery storage system to supply its Mt Keith and Leinster nickel mining operations to reduce emissions by 12pc.
The partnership will aid BHP in achieving its medium-term target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by at least 30pc from FY2020 levels by FY2030 and follows a nickel supply agreement the company signed with Tesla last week. BHP awaits final state government approvals to begin construction.
The Northern Goldfields Solar Project comprises a 27.4 MW and a 10.7MW solar farm at Mt Keith and Leinster respectively, along with a 10.1 MW battery at Leinster, to replace diesel and gas-generated power supplies.
Construction will begin in Q2 FY2022 and is estimated to last for 12-14 months. Once completed, over 100 persons will be employed and carbon emission will be reduced by approximately 540,000mt within the first decade of operations, BHP indicated in a statement on Friday.
As a part of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) extension signed in October 2020, TransAlta will construct, own and operate the solar farms and battery operations.
BHP’s Nickel West operations, which includes the Mt Keith and Leinster mines, produced 89,000mt of nickel in FY21 and is expected to reach between 85,000-95,000mt in FY2022.