Risen Energy (Australia) has signed a renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) with BHP for their Merredin Solar Farm to supply up to 50 per cent of electricity needs at BHP’s Nickel West Kwinana refinery.
The bundled PPA with BHP will run for ten years from 1 February 2021, with an option for further extension. The agreement will help BHP reduce emissions from electricity use at the refinery by up to 50 per cent by 2024, based on FY2020 levels. This will effectively displace an estimated 364,000 tonnes of CO2e between 2021 and 2031. This is the equivalent of removing 11,200 combustion engine cars from WA’s roads every year.
This is the first renewable energy PPA signed by BHP in WA and follows renewable PPAs covering BHP’s operations in Queensland in 2020 and in Chile in 2019. The contract will contribute to BHP’s medium-term, science-based target to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. The competitively-priced clean power will be supplied from Risen Energy’s 132 MWdc Merredin Solar Farm, West Australia’s largest completed solar installation which has an output of 274GWh of electricity annually.
As owners of the Merredin Solar Farm, Risen Energy (Australia) progressed the project from funding, detailed engineering design, through construction, commissioning and operation.
“Risen Energy is very proud to sign this renewable PPA with BHP’s Nickel West. This agreement will bolster current and future Western Australian renewable projects. We look forward to welcoming many more clean energy partnerships to power manufacturing, minerals processing and other Western Australian industries,” said John Zhong, Vice General Manager, Risen Energy (Australia).
BHP Nickel West, Asset President, Eddy Haegel said: “This contract will further increase the sustainability of the nickel produced by Nickel West. It will reduce the refinery’s electricity emissions by 50 per cent, diversify our energy supply, and reduce the refinery’s electricity bill by up to 20 per cent.
“Nickel is a future-facing commodity, and sustainable nickel production is essential to meet future demand. This contract, the sulphide nature of our nickel deposits, and our integrated value chain increases our position as one of the least carbon intensive nickel miners in the world,” said Haegel.
Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy, Bill Johnston said: “Congratulations to everyone at BHP Nickel West for taking this important step forward to reduce their operation’s carbon footprint.”
“BHP’s Kwinana nickel refinery is a key contributor to WA’s future battery industry, and is helping global efforts to decarbonise. The McGowan Government is supportive of mining and resources companies that embrace clean energy solutions,” said Johnston.
“The strength of our team brought this deal together including the dedicated work from Archie Chen, CFO, Risen Energy (Australia), Nomad Energy (specialised consultant) and Herbert Smith, Freehills. They worked hard to bring this opportunity to fruition by being very commercial, pragmatic and committed, establishing Risen Energy as a trustworthy partner to work with” said Zhong.
“We are steadily growing our solar projects and solar module supply businesses in Australia, and we see a bright future ahead as Australia continues to expand its renewable energy market,” explained Zhong. “Risen Energy has a long term plan to be a major independent renewable power producer within Australia. The Merredin Solar Farm in Western Australia and the Yarranlea Solar Farm in Queensland are the first two steps in us achieving our goal to deliver 2GW of clean energy to Australia”, said Zhong.