- BHP will enter renewable energy supply arrangements for its Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia
- Power will be supplied by Iberdrola, including from Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, a hybrid solar and wind power facility
- This deal will ensure decarbonization efforts of BHP while supporting development of renewables in South Australia
Anglo-Australian multinational mining group BHP will power its Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia with clean energy, including from what it believes will be the country’s ‘largest’ solar-wind hybrid plant once complete in July 2022. The ‘bespoke renewable energy supply arrangements’ will come into effect on July 1, 2022.
The Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park (PAREP) being developed by Spain’s Iberdrola in South Australia will have BHP as its primary customer and the latter will offtake the energy generated under a retail agreement with Origin Energy. While the wind farm of the hybrid project with 210 MW capacity has been completed by Sterling & Wilson, construction on 107 MW solar PV segment with around 250,000 LONGi Solar panels is still on.
These renewable energy supply arrangements, to be entered into shortly as BHP said, will enable the development of renewable energy in Australia, and it will also enable Olympic Dam to lower its ‘emission position to zero for 50% of its electricity consumption by 2025, based on current forecast demand’.
“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,” said said BHP Olympic Dam Asset President Jennifer Purdie who was previously the CEO of Adani Australia Renewables (see Adani Appoints New CEO For Australia RE Unit).
This would be yet another renewable energy arrangement for BHP that’s already signed similar arrangements in Western Australia to procure solar energy for its Kwinana Refinery, and in Queensland for solar and wind to power its coal mines (see Solar & Wind For BHP’s Queensland Coal Mines).
In September 2021, Iberdrola said it will build 245 MW Avonlie Solar Farm near Narrandera, New South Wales, designed to generate around 500 GWh annually on completion by the end of 2022.