BHP Places Bets on Renewables, Reviews Portfolio
Top miner BHP Billiton estimates that wind and solar energy will reach cost-parity with traditional fossil fuels in about a decade. In light of this, the mining giant plans to test how solar battery storage options can be adopted at its remote sites.
“On average, wind and solar energy are expected to reach cost-parity with incumbent technologies on a new-build, unsubsidized basis in about a decade,” the world’s largest miner says in the post titled ‘How Much Spark is There in the Solar and Wind Revolution?’
The company also highlights Chile and Morocco as two markets where renewables can already successfully compete with fossil fuels.
In addition, BHP Billiton released a chart that shows its cost projections of building new wind and solar plants relative to new coal plants in China — the world’s largest power market.
BHP Billiton says it plans to review its current portfolio with intention of incorporating more renewables into the company’s energy strategy.
“We want to identify the technologies that have the opportunity to materially lower emissions,’’ Fiona Wild, BHP’s Vice President of Sustainability and Climate Change, told Bloomberg in an interview. “We are looking at batteries in a fringe-of-grid location and a lot of our locations fall into that category.’’
The first step will be partnering up with Origin Energy to test how solar and battery-storage technologies can be integrated into existing energy mixes at remote mine sites, the company said.
The 13 MW Lakeland Solar and Storage Project in Queensland, Australia, will be used as BHP’s guinea pig. The solar plant at the site is being developed by Conergy and is expected to be completed in April.