PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner BHP expects to halve emissions from electricity generation at its port facilities in Port Hedland by the end of 2024.
The miner on Tuesday announced that it had signed a large-scale renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) with Alinta Energy, which will see the construction and connection of a 45 MW solar farm and 35 MW battery energy storage system (BESS) into Alinta’s existing Port Hedland power station, approximately 14 km from BHP’s port facilities.
The construction of the solar farm, subject to final regulatory approvals, is expected to begin in December 2022 and create 200 jobs.
Once completed, it is expected that 100% of the forecasted average daytime energy requirements for BHP’s port facilities will be powered by solar generation, with the remaining power requirements to be met through the integrated BESS and market access to Alinta’s existing gas-fuelled power station facilities.
“The world needs Western Australia’s high quality iron-ore to support economic development and decarbonisation, and we are committed to supplying iron-ore more sustainably while investing in Western Australia and creating local jobs,” said BHP Western Australian iron-ore asset president Brandon Craig.
“We are delighted to expand our partnership with Alinta Energy as we seek to lower emissions from our Western Australian iron-ore business.”
BHP said on Tuesday that the halving of reported emissions, based on current forecast demand and compared with 2020 reported emissions, will contribute to BHP’s medium-term target to reduce operational emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030 and the company’s long-term goal of achieving net zero operational emissions by 2050.
BHP is the foundation customer of Alinta’s solar battery hybrid project, which is expected to be the first large scale renewable facility at Port Hedland and will support the expansion of the renewable energy industry in Western Australia.
In addition, BHP and Alinta have entered into a memorandum of understanding in relation to the development of the Shay Gap Wind Farm. The Shay Gap Wind Farm is currently planned to be 45 MW, with a potential first-generation date of 2027.
The PPA is the latest milestone in BHP progressing its plan to reduce operational emissions in line with BHP’s climate targets and goals. The company in recent years has signed PPAs to provide renewable energy to BHP’s Nickel West operations in Western Australia, Olympic Dam operations in South Australia, BMA operations in Queensland and the Escondida copper mine in Chile.