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Alinta Energy has announced the battery and solar installation contracts for the $180 million Port Hedland Solar Battery Hybrid project. 

UGL, a CIMIC Group company, has been appointed to deliver the 35MW one-hour battery storage system. Shanghai Electric Power Design Institute Co and Monford Group Pty Ltd (SEPD Monford) have been contracted to deliver an approximately 45MW AC fixed-tilt solar array.

The project is expected to create around 200 jobs with contractors on site from July 2023 and the solar battery will be operational by late 2024.

The project will consist of around 100,000 panels required over approx 100h. The solar array will be located about 500m east of the Port Hedland Power Station, which is about 14km South of the town and the battery will be located at the existing power station.

Alinta Energy Chief Development Officer, Ken Woolley, said, “We’re excited to bring these EPC partners on board to help us deliver the project for BHP and look forward to a safe and successful construction phase.”

UGL Managing Director, Doug Moss, said, “UGL is a market leader in the design, construction and operation of renewable assets across Australia. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Alinta to provide a safe and effective outcome for their Port Hedland project.”

Once completed, it’s expected that 100 per cent of the forecasted average daytime energy requirements for BHP’s port facilities will be powered by solar generation, with the remaining power requirements to be met via the battery and Alinta Energy’s existing gas-fired power station.

The Port Hedland Solar Battery Hybrid project underpins a power purchase agreement with BHP that’s expected to halve emissions from the generation of electricity used to power BHP’s Western Australia iron ore port facilities in Port Hedland.

Alinta Energy has development approvals for the sites that could facilitate a future expansion to a 60MW two-hour battery storage system and 90MW AC solar array.

Alinta Energy, BHP, UGL and SEPD Monford are committed to seeking opportunities to include local and Indigenous content, including opportunities for local, Pilbara Aboriginal and Kariyarra Traditional Owner businesses.

Alinta Energy acknowledges the Government of Western Australia’s Clean Energy Future Fund grant of $1.5 million towards the battery storage system component of the project.

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