Analysis and Commentary

Trend to source solar and wind to offset emissions

Analysis and Commentary

By Peter Roberts

Companies and organisations are increasingly turning to renewable energy providers to source green power to quickly cut the carbon intensity of their operations as they race to meet decarbonisation pledges.

The most recent is Brisbane Airport Corporation which will be supplied by power generator Stanwell with up to 185GWh of renewable energy each year, to run lights, terminal functions, IT needs and even electric vehicles.

Stanwell will source renewable energy from the Clarke Creek Wind Farm and Blue Grass Solar projects.

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said: “From small businesses to big corporates like Brisbane Airport, they all have one thing in common—they want access to low emissions power.”

The deal came at the same time as Anglo American struck a $1 billion, 10 year deal with Stanwell to buy enough renewable energy to abate its scope 2 emissions – those associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling.

It should be noted that the coal miner’s scope 3 emissions from the burning of the coal by customers dwarf scope 2 emissions. Anglo, however, produces metallurgical coal for making steel.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “This partnership with Anglo American and Stanwell demonstrates the strong shift to clean energy from Queensland businesses.

“Stanwell is one of Queensland’s major energy suppliers, and until recently has been known only for coal-fired energy generation.”

The deal will power all electrical equipment at Anglo American’s mines in Moranbah, Middlemount and Moura, including draglines, longwall equipment, conveyors, coal preparation facilities, lighting and ventilation and cooling infrastructure, water treatment plant and administration facilities.

Copper and uranium miner BHP recently also recently announced it would buy renewable power to run its Olympic Dam mine in South Australia.

Energy to be supplied by Iberdrola, including from the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, will reduce its emission position to zero for 50 per cent of its electricity consumption by 2025.

BHP will be the major customer of the Port Augusta facility, which will be Australia’s largest solar-wind hybrid plant once in operation in July 2022.

BHP Olympic Dam Asset President, Jennifer Purdie said: “These arrangements will support an exciting new renewable energy project which will contribute to South Australia’s renewable energy ambitions.

“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.”

Picture: BHP/Olympic Dam

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