BHP has signed a five-year clean energy deal with CleanCo for the Big Australian’s Queensland mines to be part-powered by renewable energy.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the agreement was an illustration of the Government’s support for existing industries and the ones of the future.
“We are about building jobs in every industry,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We value jobs in the coal industry, in the mining industry and in our growing renewable energy industry.”
Queensland Energy Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said, “This agreement means that eventually wind and solar energy from south-west Queensland and hydro from Far North Queensland and Wivenhoe will be powering mines in central Queensland.
“BHP’s commitment will help underwrite CleanCo’s investments in the MacIntyre Precinct and Western Downs Green Power Hub, and their 800 new regional jobs in south-west Queensland.
“With the Government’s renewable energy zone initiative, the south-west will continue to flourish as a renewable development and jobs hub.”
BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Asset President, James Palmer, said, “This contract will help our operations across Queensland to further increase their sustainability through reducing the greenhouse gas emissions we generate from electricity use by half.
“It will also support two greenfield renewable projects that in turn are expected to generate regional jobs in Queensland.”
Commencing from 1 January 2021, the five-year agreement will assist BHP to halve electricity emissions across its Queensland operations by 2025.
Initially, energy will come from CleanCo’s existing low-emission generation portfolio of hydro and gas.
Solar and wind energy will kick in from late 2022 when the Western Downs Green Power Hub is expected to be commissioned, with CleanCo’s Karara wind farm to follow.
CleanCo is building the 100MW Karara wind farm, the first new publicly-owned renewable energy generation in Queensland in 20 years.
The generator is also buying another 400 megawatts of new renewable energy from ACCIONA’s neighbouring Macintyre wind farm.
CleanCo’s involvement in the MacIntyre Precinct has nearly doubled the size and capacity of the 1026MW precinct, which will start supplying energy to the grid in 2022.
CleanCo CEO, Dr Maia Schweizer, said its hydro and gas assets positions CleanCo to provide competitively-priced clean energy products to commercial and industrial customers.
“We’re committed to improving affordability and creating regional growth and jobs for Queenslanders and achieving our target to support 1000MW of new renewable generation by 2025, which will help Queensland achieve its goal of 50 per cent renewables by 2030.”