- BHP and TransAlta have commissioned an off-grid solar and storage facility in Western Australia
- It comprises 2 solar power plants of 27.4 MW and 10.7 MW capacity, and a 10.1 MW battery storage facility
- It is powering BHP’s nickel mining operations by replacing diesel and gas power generation
Mining company BHP Group Limited and Canadian electricity generator TransAlta Corporation have announced the completion of what they call is one among the world’s largest off-grid mining solar and battery storage facilities. The project has come online in Western Australia to power BHP’s nickel mining operations.
The Northern Goldfields Solar and Battery Facility will replace diesel and gas generation for the BHP facility and bring down its Scope 2 emissions by 12%.
Equipped with some 70,000 solar panels across 90 hectares of land, the project comprises a 27.4 MW solar farm at Mt Keith and a 10.7 MW solar farm along with 10.1 MW battery capacity at Leinster. These are integrated into TransAlta’s Northern Goldfields remote power grid.
“Nickel is in high demand for batteries and electric vehicles, and this progress is part of our commitment to delivering more sustainable, lower carbon product to our customers,” said BHP Australia President Geraldine Slattery. “Renewables are increasingly powering BHP operations around the globe and this facility – the first we have built on one of our sites – is another step forward in our plans to reduce our operational greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% by FY30, from FY20 levels.”
For TransAlta, this is its 1st renewable electricity facility in Australia that it says is now supplying reliable, emissions-free power to BHP’s mining operations.
Both the companies are developing other projects to help BHP further reduce its Scope 2 emissions at Mt Keith and Leinster operations.
Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy, Bill Johnston added, “It’s projects like these that are setting a global standard of what a modern mine looks like, with a big focus on the environment and reducing carbon emissions.”