TransAlta Renewables announces agreement to build a hybrid solar – battery project for BHP nickel west in Western Australia

Alberta — TransAlta Renewables announced that Southern Cross Energy (“TransAlta Australia”), a subsidiary of TransAlta Corporation and an entity in which the Company owns an indirect economic interest, has agreed to provide renewable solar electricity supported with a battery energy storage system (“BESS”) to the Goldfields-based operations of BHP Nickel West Pty Ltd (“BHP”) through the construction of the Northern Goldfields Solar Project.

The Northern Goldfields Solar Project comprises the 27.4MW Mount Keith Solar Farm, 10.7MW Leinster Solar Farm, 10.1MW / 5.4MWh Leinster BESS and interconnecting transmission infrastructure, all of which will be integrated into TransAlta Australia’s 169MW Southern Cross Energy North remote network in Western Australia.

The network and new generation will support BHP to meet its emissions reduction targets and to deliver lower carbon, sustainable nickel to its customers. The Northern Goldfields Solar Project is expected to reduce BHP’s Scope 2 electricity greenhouse gas emissions from its Leinster and Mt Keith operations by 540,000 tonnes of CO2e over the first 10 years of operation.

BHP Nickel West, Asset President, Eddy Haegel said, “this is the first large-scale onsite solar farm and battery that BHP has commissioned at any of its global operations. The Northern Goldfields Solar Project will further improve our position as one of the lowest carbon nickel miners in the world.

It will reduce emissions from electricity use at Mt Keith and Leinster by 12 percent, reduce fuel costs and improve the reliability of our electricity supply with the addition of the battery storage system.”

“TransAlta Renewables is excited to announce our first solar and battery storage hybrid project and the expansion of our renewable generation footprint into Australia,” said Todd Stack, President.

TransAlta Australia will build, own and operate the Northern Goldfields Solar Project. The total construction capital of the project is estimated at A$73 million. Following an extensive tender process, TransAlta Australia has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with juwi Renewable Energy Pty Ltd.

The project is the first renewable energy project to be developed under the Power Purchase Agreement recently extended with BHP in October 2020 and will have a term of 16.3 years. Final Notice to Proceed is expected during Q3 2021.


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