SMA’s integral role in BHP’s Northern Goldfields solar and battery storage system

SMA delivers technology to one of the world’s largest off-grid mining solar and battery storage systems

In the heart of Australia’s Northern Goldfields, a groundbreaking collaboration between global mining giant BHP and renewable energy provider TransAlta has given rise to one of the world’s largest off-grid mining solar and battery energy storage systems.

The Northern Goldfields Solar and Battery Storage Facility, comprising a 27.4 MWdc solar farm at Mt Keith and a 10.7 MWdc solar farm with a 10.1 MWac/5.4MWh battery system at Leinster, is a beacon of sustainability in the mining industry, reducing BHP’s Scope 2 emissions by an impressive 12%.

SMA Australia delivered advanced inverter solutions to EPC specialist, the JUWI Group, for the 70,000 solar panels at the centre of this project that have replaced power originally generated from diesel and gas.

Powering progress

This ambitious project represents BHP’s inaugural on-site, off-grid, large-scale renewable venture globally and catapults it towards its goal of decarbonising operations by 30% before FY2030. The Northern Goldfields Solar and Battery Storage Facility underscores the increasing confidence of large corporations, like BHP, in adopting hybrid energy solutions involving solar and storage.

This move is pivotal to BHP’s broader strategy to position itself as one of the most sustainable nickel providers globally. It aligns with the increasing demand for sustainable, low-carbon products in the electric vehicle and battery markets.

SMA’s advanced inverter capabilities

SMA Australia played a crucial role in the creation of the Northern Goldfields Solar and Battery Storage Facility. The solar farms at Leinster and Mt Keith utilised SMA’s cutting-edge technology, with Leinster utilising three Sunny Central 4200 UP inverters in Medium Voltage Power Station 4200 S2 skids, and Mt Keith utilising six In addition to the solar generation, Leinster also boasts four Sunny Central Storage 2900 in Medium Voltage Power Station 2900 S2 skids.

The Northern Goldfields region, known for its remote and challenging conditions, saw SMA’s technology face the ultimate test of durability. The successful integration and operation of SMA’s Sunny Central and Sunny Central Storage inverters and integrated MVPS-S2 in both projects underscored their resilience, even in the face of Australia’s extreme weather events.

The Northern Goldfields collaboration with TransAlta marks a significant partnership for SMA, with SMA Altenso, a subsidiary of SMA, and SMA Australia working in tandem to deliver the battery inverters and PV inverters respectively.

SMA’s successful collaboration with the JUWI Group, and TransAlta demonstrates the important role that partnerships play in delivering innovative renewable solutions.

It was here that SMA’s extensive track record in delivering large off-grid advanced inverter solutions to remote areas in Australia came to the forefront, showcasing the company’s ability to efficiently deliver and integrate renewable solutions for complex projects.

Tim Hale, Head of Sales & Business Development Large Scale at SMA Australia, expressed the significance of this collaboration: “Our advanced inverter solutions are pivotal in enabling large-scale renewable projects like the Northern Goldfields Solar and Battery Storage Facility,” he said.

“We are proud to contribute to BHP’s sustainability goals and play a role in the global shift towards cleaner energy solutions.”

The Northern Goldfields Solar and Battery Storage System stands not only as a testament to BHP’s commitment to sustainability but also as a shining example of SMA’s capabilities in delivering advanced inverter solutions for large-scale, off-grid renewable projects.

As the world shifts towards cleaner energy solutions, collaborations like these pave the way for a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.

Editor’s note:

Details of the SMA inverters used at Leinster and Mt Keith are as follows:

  • Leinster PV (SMA AU) with 3*SC-4200-UP in MVPS-4200-S2 skids
  • Leinster BESS (Altenso) with 4*SCS-2900 in MVPS-2900-S2 skids
  • Mt Keith PV (SMA AU) with 4*SC-4200-UP in MVPS-4200-S2 skids
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