BHP and its power partner in the Goldfields TransAlta are building two solar farms and a battery storage system to help power the Mt Keith and Leinster operations. This will help BHP reduce emissions from electricity use at Mt Keith and Leinster by 12 percent, based on FY2020 levels. The Northern Goldfields Solar Project will include a 27.4 MW solar farm at Mt Keith, and a 10.7 MW solar farm and 10.1 MW battery at Leinster. It will displace power currently supplied by diesel and gas turbine generation.
BHP commissioned the solar farms and battery to be built, owned and operated by TransAlta as part of the power purchase agreement extension signed in October 2020. Construction will commence in Q2 FY2022 and is expected to take 12-14 months.
“This is the first large-scale onsite solar farm and battery that BHP has commissioned at any of its global operations,” says Eddy Haegel, BHP Nickel West’s asset president. “The Northern Goldfields Solar Project will further improve our position as one of the lowest carbon nickel miners in the world.”
The partnership will contribute to BHP’s medium-term target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions from its operated assets by at least 30 percent from FY2020 levels by FY2030.