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Gold/Mining/Energy : Electron Energy Storage

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From: Eric11/6/2022 2:39:40 PM
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Neoen to use wind and big battery in “first of its kind” baseload renewables contract with BHP

Giles Parkinson 3 November 2022 16

The future.

French renewable energy developer Neoen says it has signed a first of its kind “baseload” contract with mining giant BHP to supply power to its huge Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia with a combination of wind and battery storage.

The contract is for 70MW and will deliver energy 24/7. The wind power will come from the first 412MW stage of the Goyder South wind farm, now under construction. It will be supported by a new 300MW big battery at Blyth, also in South Australia, that could have up to 800MWh of storage.

The contract is expected to meet half of Olympic Dam’s forecast electricity needs from 2025, and will account for around half of the output of the Goyder South wind farm, which is also contracted to the ACT government and retailer Flow Power.

Neoen Australia managing director Louis de Sambucy says the new contract demonstrates Neoen’s ability to leverage its portfolio of renewable generation and storage assets to offer, for the first time, firm delivery of green power.

“We are delighted to provide BHP with this highly innovative solution,” he said in a statement. “We are convinced that our ability to combine our assets and our energy management capabilities to create bespoke commercial offers will be a key element of success for our future developments.”

He said the company hopes this will become a blueprint for future contracts.

Neoen says that Goyder South has one of the best wind resources in the country – which means its capacity factor is expected to be around 50 per cent.

It will grow into what Neoen’s expects will be a massive renewables zone, potentially the largest hybrid facility in Australia, with up to 1200MW of wind, 600MW of solar, and 900MW and 1800MWh of battery storage.

The new deal means that 209MW of the output of the first stage of Goyder South will be underpinned by two long term power purchase agreements with the ACT government and retailer Flow Power, while another 203MW will be underpinned by this new 70MW baseload contract with BHP.

The Blyth Battery, to be located near the town of the same now, received planning consent for up to 300MW of capacity and 800MWh of storage. The final design of the battery is yet to be agreed.

“The world needs South Australia’s high-quality copper to build renewable technologies and infrastructure, and BHP is focused on producing that copper more sustainably,” BHP Olympic Dam asset president, Jennifer Purdie said in a statement.

“This agreement will support BHP on its decarbonisation journey, and provide new firmed renewable energy and increased stability to the South Australian grid.”

This latest agreement follows commitments BHP has made in recent years, which have seen renewable electricity contribute to powering BHP facilities in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and Chile.

Neoen has been behind many of the most significant battery storage developments in Australia, including the original Tesla big battery, aka the Hornsdale Power Reserve (pictured above) in South Australia, and the Victoria Big Battery, which at 300MW/450MWh remains the biggest in the country.

It is also a highly successful wind and solar developer, and is currently building the country’s biggest solar farm, the 400MW Western Downs project in Queensland, as well as the 157MW Kaban wind farm in the north of that state.

For BHP, the deal with Neoen will contribute to its target to reduce operational emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030.

“Renewable energy partnerships, such as this agreement with Neoen, are important steps towards that outcome, and our longer-term 2050 net zero goal,” said BHP chief commercial officer Vandita Pant.

BHP Olympic Dam asset president Jennifer Purdie says the offtake deal with Neoen will also help BHP to produce copper – itself in increasing demand for use in the decarbonisation of electricity – more sustainably.

“The world needs South Australia’s high-quality copper to build renewable technologies and infrastructure.”

Neoen chair and CEO Xavier Barbaro thanked BHP for its “vote of confidence” in the company’s 24/7 energy offering.

“This first baseload PPA is a significant step forward for Neoen and will serve as a template for future contracts, opening up new market opportunities in Australia and in the rest of the world,” he said.

Neoen expects the construction and operation of this wind and battery project to create approximately 250 construction jobs and 15 permanent jobs in South Australia.
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