Global mining group BHP has signed a power purchasing agreement (PPA) to meet 50 per cent of its electricity needs across its Queensland Coal mines from green power sources. The said PPA has been signed with CleanCo, Queensland’s state-owned clean energy generator and retailer. During the five-year agreement commencing from January 1, 2021, power will be provided via the grid, and predominantly contracted from a combination of solar, wind, hydro and gas generation.
BHP has recently transitioned to 100 per cent renewable power usage at its operations in Escondida and Spence in Chile and the PPA with CleanCo is the company’s first such contract in Australia. This PPA is also supporting the development of new solar and wind farms in Queensland. The Western Downs Green Power Hub is due for completion in late 2022, while the Karara Wind Farm is due for completion in early 2023.
Power will be procured from CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio comprising hydro and gas generation assets for the first two years of the contract duration. From late 2022 onwards, half the electricity requirements will be progressively met by the newly operational solar and wind farms, while CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio will supply the remainder. The PPA with CleanCo will help BHP in reducing carbon emissions for meeting its power requirements in its Queensland mining operations by 50 per cent by 2025, based on FY2020 levels.