Solar project to power BHP

Construction has begun at one of the world’s largest off-grid mining solar and battery energy storage systems to power BHP Nickel West’s Mt Keith and Leinster operations.  The Northern Goldfields Solar Project, which was announced last year, includes a 27.4-megawatt (MW) solar farm at Mt Keith, a 10.7 MW solar farm and a 10.1 MW battery at Leinster, which will be integrated into TransAlta’s Northern Goldfields remote power grid.

The project will replace power currently supplied by diesel and gas, and will help BHP Nickel West reduce scope 2 emissions at its Mt Keith and Leinster operations by 12 per cent, resulting in an estimated reduction of 54,000 tonnes of carbon each year.  The project is expected to produce its first solar power by November this year.

The construction phase of the project is set to create more than 100 direct and indirect jobs in the Goldfields and Perth regions.  The project aims to employ Traditional Owners from the Tijwarl Native Title Holders following TransAlta’s contractor, juwi, awarding Cundaline Resources with the primary civil contractor role on the project.

TransAlta also unveiled it had entered into an agreement with BHP to identify potential wind sites for a 40 to 50MW wind farm, which would connect to TransAlta’s northern grid and reduce scope 2 emissions at BHP’s Mt Keith and Leinster operations by an estimated further 30 per cent.