Solar Farms & Battery to Power Mines at BHPs Nickel West
BHP and its power partner in the Goldfields TransAlta are to build 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 per cent, 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, and will displace power currently supplied by diesel and gas turbine generation.
This will result in an estimated reduction of 540,000 tonnes of CO2e over the first 10 years of operation. This is the equivalent of removing up to 23,000 combustion engine cars from the road every year.
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, is expected to take 12-14 months, and at its peak will employ over 100 people on site.
The partnership will contribute to BHP’s medium-term target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions from our operated assets by at least 30 per cent from FY2020 levels by FY2030.
The project is subject to final WA state government approvals.