Two components of the Nickel West complex in Western Australia will soon be powered by two solar farms and a battery storage system after owner BHP and its partner TransAlta announced plans to reduce electricity emissions.
The project, which includes a 27.4-megawatt solar installation at Mt. Keith and a 10.7-MW battery at Leinster, will reduce emissions by 12% year-on-year and a reduction of 540,000 tonnes of CO2e over its first decade of operation.
The project replaces the current generation by diesel and gas turbine at the operations.
“The Northern Goldfields Solar Project will further improve our position as one of the lowest carbon nickel miners in the world,” BHP Nickel West Asset President Eddy Haegel said.
“Sustainable low carbon nickel is essential for our battery and electric vehicle customers.”
BHP has commissioned the farms and battery as part of its PPA extension signed in October 2020. The assets will be built, owned and operated by TransAlta.
Construction is expected to begin in the second quarter of next year and take 12-14 months. It is still pending government approvals by the state of Western Australia.
The partnership, BHP noted, will contribute to its medium-term target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions from its assets by at least 30% by FY2030.