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Wind farm and battery to help power Olympic Dam

Manufacturing News

The decarbonisation of Australia’s mining and metals refining sector is picking up pace with BHP’s giant Olympic Dam copper mine and metals refinery in South Australia turning to solar power and battery energy storage.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is investing $99 million to boost to Neoen’s Goyder wind farm – which will provide electricity to BHP’s operations.

This cleaner and cheaper renewable power will be backed up by Neoen’s Blyth Battery (pictured) now under construction, which is located nearby.

Olympic Dam is a significant copper mine located 550 km north-northwest of Adelaide, and it has one of the largest copper deposits in the world.

It’s made up of underground and surface operations and operates a fully integrated processing facility from ore to metal

Once completed, the wind farm will generate 203 MW of electricity, and the battery will store 477 MWh – enough to help meet half of Olympic Dam mine’s electricity needs.

Copper is critical for clean energy manufacturing, with copper being essential for making wind turbines, batteries, and solar panels.

The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen, said it was great to see clean energy powering mining – one of Australia’s key national industrial strengths.

Bowen said in a statement: “The Albanese Government is excited to support a project that involves three vital things for Australia’s future – wind power, batteries, and strategic materials.”

Increasingly, mining and resources companies are investing in firmed renewables to help power their operations with more affordable and clean power, according to the government.

The project will create more than 400 jobs during the construction of the wind farm and 40 at the Blyth Battery.

Blyth Battery is the fifth big battery project financed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, bringing their total investment in this technology to over $390 million.

Picture: Neoen’s Blyth Battery under construction, November, 2023

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