The PPA that has been extended for 15 years has scope to include renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and waste-to-energy


BHP extends PPA with SCE to power its Western Australia operations. (Credit: BHP.)

TransAlta Renewables announced that its subsidiary Southern Cross Energy has extended its current power purchase agreement (PPA) with BHP Billiton Nickel West (BHP) with respect to the 245MW generating facilities in the Goldfields region of Western Australia.

The extension replaces the previous PPA which is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2023. With the new agreement, the PPA will be on force till 2038, supplying Nickel West all the electricity generated by SCE.

With the extended PPA, BHP will be able to include renewable energy such as solar and wind along with energy storage, to meet its emissions reduction targets.

Study phases are underway for an 18.5MW solar plant at Nickel West’s Leinster and Mount Keith operations, along with a battery energy storage system.

The evaluation also includes a 17MW waste heat steam turbine system at the Kalgoorlie Smelter to supply low-emissions energy from furnace heat recovery.

Adding renewable energy could help reduce Nickel West’s emissions by 15%

The two renewable energy projects could reduce Nickel West’s Scope 2 electricity greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% by 2023, based on 2020 levels.

BHP targets a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from 2020 levels by 2030, with a long-term target of net zero operational emissions by 2050.

Nickel West asset president Eduard Haegel said: “The PPA also provided Nickel West with the additional ability to integrate renewable electricity generation, including solar and wind, with energy storage technologies to meet its emissions reduction targets and deliver lower carbon, sustainable nickel to its customers.”

“These projects contribute to the first phase of our emissions reduction strategy, as we continue to evaluate plans for additional renewable energy supply to decarbonise our nickel operations.

“We are at the beginning of an energy revolution that will transform our world and materially increase demand for nickel. BHP Nickel West is well placed to provide our nickel units sustainably, and with one of the lowest carbon footprints.”