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Olympic Dam goes for green power

Manufacturing News

BHP is planning to enter into renewable energy supply arrangements to enable the giant Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mine in South Australia to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero for 50 per cent of its electricity consumption by 2025.

Energy will be supplied by clean energy supplier Iberdrola Australia, including from the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, which will be one of the country’s largest combined solar PV and wind facilities when it is completed.

The $500 million park will be a 317 MW hybrid project incorporating 50 wind turbines and 250,000 solar modules spread over 5,400 hectares of land at the head of Spencer Gulf.

BHP is to become the primary customer of this new renewable facility with power supplied from mid-2022 through a retail agreement with Origin Energy.

This announcement follows BHP’s entry into renewable energy agreements for its’ operations in Western Australia in 2021, Queensland in 2020 and in Chile in 2019.

BHP Olympic Dam asset president, Jennifer Purdie said: “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.”

BHP has a medium-term target to reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) from its operated assets by at least 30 per cent from FY2020 levels by FY2030.

South Australian energy minister Dan Van Holst Pellekaan said: “The arrangements highlights the good sense of BHP, Iberdrola and other companies getting the generation mix right, including wind and solar farms, grid scale storage and fast start gas, to provide cleaner and more reliable electricity.”

Picture: BHP

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