Melbourne-based resources company BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) has expanded to 50 MW the contracted off-take capacity from the 132-MW DC Merredin solar farm in Western Australia.
The recently signed power purchasing agreement (PPA) with Risen Energy Australia will now cover the output from 50 MW of the solar farm’s capacity, instead of the initially agreed 30 MW, Risen Energy said on Tuesday. The duration of the contract has been kept at 10 years.
The additional 30 MW will cover the electricity needs of BHP Nickel West’s Kalgoorlie smelter and cut the company’s Scope 2 emissions by 30%. Supplies commenced on August 1. As of February 1, BHP Nickel West is already getting electricity from the Merredin park that will help it cut the Kwinana nickel refinery’s emissions from electricity use by up to 50% by 2024.
“This is another example of the steps we are taking to reduce emissions across our operations – 30 per cent by 2030 and net zero by 2050. Sustainable low carbon nickel is essential for our battery and electric vehicle customers,” said BHP Nickel West asset president Jessica Farrell.
The Merredin solar farm was hooked to the grid in the summer of 2020. The annual output of its 354,452 photovoltaic (PV) panels is estimated at 274 GWh.