BHP to reduce emissions from electricity use in Qld by 50%
BHP has announced that it has signed a firm renewable power purchasing agreement to meet half of its electricity needs across its Queensland coalmines from low emissions sources, including solar and wind. The agreement will help BHP reduce emissions from electricity use in its Queensland operations by 50% by 2025, based on FY2020 levels, according to the company.
The agreement, with Queensland’s state-owned clean energy generator and retailer CleanCo, will run for five years from 1 January 2021. This will effectively displace an estimated 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 between 2021 and 2025.
The agreement is the first of its kind signed by BHP in Australia and follows the company’s shift to 100% renewables in its Chilean operations at Escondida and Spence from the mid-2020s. It will also support the development of new solar and wind farms in Queensland — the Western Downs Green Power Hub due for completion in late 2022 and Karara Wind Farm due for completion in early 2023.
“This is an important step forward in BHP’s transition to more sustainable energy use across our portfolio and a first for our Australian operations,” said BHP’s President Minerals Australia, Edgar Basto. “It will diversify our energy supply, help to reduce our energy costs and reduce BHP’s Australian Scope 2 emissions by 20% from FY2020 levels.
“This is a prime example of prudent business decisions going hand in hand with social value, strengthening our business and benefiting the community.”
Over the five-year agreement, power will be provided via the grid and predominantly contracted from a combination of solar, wind, hydro and gas generation.
For the first two years, power will be contracted from CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio, which includes hydro and gas generation assets. From late 2022, the newly operational solar and wind farms are expected to progressively contribute up to half the electricity requirements, with the remainder supported by CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio.
CleanCo was created to help improve electricity affordability and support the transition to clean energy in a way that drives regional growth and jobs. It has a target to support 1000 MW of new renewable energy generation by 2025 and aims to achieve this by building, owning and operating renewable energy projects and supporting investment in other new renewable energy projects.
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