BHP looks at renewables for Olympic Dam

14th October 2021 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH ( – Diversified miner BHP has flagged potential renewable solutions for its Olympic Dam operation, in South Australia, in the hopes of reducing its emission position to zero for 50% of its electricity consumption by 2025, based on current forecast demand. 

BHP on Thursday said that it expected to shortly enter into renewable energy supply arrangements with clean energy provider Iberdrola.

Under the arrangements, energy will be supplied from the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park in South Australia, which will be Australia’s largest solar-wind hybrid plant once in operation in July 2022. BHP is to become the primary customer of this new renewables facility.

The renewable energy supply arrangements will also include a retail agreement with Origin Energy, who will facilitate the arrangements.

“These arrangements will support an exciting new renewable energy project which will contribute to South Australia’s renewable energy ambitions,” Olympic Dam asset president Jennifer Purdie said. 

“Olympic Dam’s copper has an important role to play to support global decarbonisation and the energy transition as an essential product in electric vehicles and renewable infrastructure. Reducing emissions from our operations will further enhance our position as a sustainable copper producer.”

Iberdrola Australia CEO and MD Ross Rolfe said that the company was delighted to be partnering with BHP, helping it to meet its decarbonisation and sustainability objectives.

“We worked very closely with BHP to design these bespoke renewable energy supply arrangements. Olympic Dam is to be the primary customer for the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, a demonstration of their commitment to local procurement and sustainable economic development."

BHP has already struck renewable energy agreements for its Nickel West refinery, in Western Australia, its Queensland coal operations, and for its Escondida and Spence copper operations, in Chile.