Govt investment fund backs renewables for BHP mine for $99m

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has committed $99 million for a wind farm and grid-scale battery in South Australia to help power BHP’s Olympic Dam mine.

Ian Learmonth: innovative solution

The investment, recently announced by the federal government-owned green bank, will be used by French renewables company Neoen to develop the second part of the Goyder South Stage 1 Wind Farm and the Blyth Battery.

Neoen will own and operate the development. 

The development will help power Olympic Dam, which is one of the world’s largest critical mineral mines containing the fourth largest copper deposit in the world.

The CEFC says the investment will support the construction of 203 MW of renewable energy generation and 238.5MW / 477MWh of battery storage with the project meeting about half of Olympic Dam’s electricity needs.

BHP will use the power to unearth more copper needed for global wind turbines, batteries, and solar panels, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Envionment and Water says.

Attracting international finance for Aussie renewables

Goyder South Stage 1 forms part of the Neoen Goyder Renewables Zone, 150 kms north of Adelaide. Once complete, the site will be the largest wind asset in Neoen’s global portfolio, with 76 wind turbines.

CEFC chief Ian Learmonth says the announcement demonstrates the impact of CEFC capital in attracting international finance for Australian clean energy assets.  

“This innovative solution to provide firmed green energy at Olympic Dam enables a significant energy user to progress its net zero goals while producing a critical mineral like copper more sustainably,” Mr Learmonth said in a statement.

The relationship between the CEFC and Neoen has helped finance large scale batteries and now a wind farm, CEFC CIO for Renewables and Sustainable Finance, Monique Miller said.

The Blyth Battery is the fourth Neoen large scale battery that the CEFC has financed, following investments in the Victorian Big Battery, the Capital Battery in the ACT and the expansion of the Hornsdale Power Reserve, also in SA.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation was established in 2012 to increase the flow of finance into the clean energy sector as means of helping Australia reach its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

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