October 23 (Renewables Now) – Australia’s Southern Cross Energy (SCE) and BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd have extended an existing off-take deal for electricity coming from a 245-MW portfolio of SCE in Western Australia, while also adding an option for renewables.
SCE, a unit of Canadian independent power producer (IPP) TransAlta Renewables Inc (TSE:RNW), said on Thursday that its power purchase agreement with the Aussie subsidiary of mining giant BHP will run for 15 additional years, through December 31, 2038. The parties have signed an amendment to the existing PPA that was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2023.
The electricity supplies covered by the contract support BHP’s mining operations in Western Australia’s Goldfields region. Under the new arrangement, the miner will be able to use renewable energy generation in the supply mix, including from solar, wind and storage facilities.
SCE said it has started an assessment of the renewable energy supply and carbon emissions reduction initiatives under the extended deal. This includes generation from an 18.5-MW solar park for Nickel West’s Leinster and Mount Keith locations and a 17-MW waste heat steam turbine installation for its Kalgoorlie smelter.
“The amendment preserves SCE’s current economic benefit to 2023, while also providing SCE a return of and on new capital investments which will be required to support BHP’s future power requirements and recently announced emission reduction targets,” the partners said.
BHP aims to cut by 30% from 2020 levels its carbon emissions by 2030. It also has a long-term target of net zero operational emissions by 2050.