CALGARY, Alberta (July 29, 2021) –TransAlta Renewables Inc. (“TransAlta Renewables” or the “Company”) (TSX: RNW) announced today that Southern Cross Energy (“TransAlta Australia”), a subsidiary of TransAlta Corporation and an entity in which the Company owns an indirect economic interest, has agreed to provide renewable solar electricity supported with a battery energy storage system (”BESS”) to the Goldfields-based operations of BHP Nickel West Pty Ltd (“BHP”) through the construction of the Northern Goldfields Solar Project. 

The Northern Goldfields Solar Project comprises the 27.4MW Mount Keith Solar Farm, 10.7MW Leinster Solar Farm, 10.1MW / 5.4MWh Leinster BESS and interconnecting transmission infrastructure, all of which will be integrated into TransAlta Australia’s 169MW Southern Cross Energy North remote network in Western Australia. The network and new generation will support BHP to meet its emissions reduction targets and to deliver lower carbon, sustainable nickel to its customers. The Northern Goldfields Solar Project is expected to reduce BHP’s Scope 2 electricity greenhouse gas emissions from its Leinster and Mt Keith operations by 540,000 tonnes of CO2e over the first 10 years of operation.

BHP Nickel West, Asset President, Eddy Haegel said, “this is the first large-scale onsite solar farm and battery that BHP has commissioned at any of its global operations. The Northern Goldfields Solar Project will further improve our position as one of the lowest carbon nickel miners in the world. It will reduce emissions from electricity use at Mt Keith and Leinster by 12 per cent, reduce fuel costs and improve the reliability of our electricity supply with the addition of the battery storage system.”

“TransAlta Renewables is excited to announce our first solar and battery storage hybrid project and the expansion of our renewable generation footprint into Australia,” said Todd Stack, President. “This project further strengthens our existing relationship with BHP as we continue to evaluate further renewable energy opportunities and high efficiency repowering options for our customers’ operations. Our ability to integrate renewable energy solutions, reliably and affordably, into remote and off-grid networks uniquely positions us to enable our customers to achieve their sustainability goals.”

TransAlta Australia will build, own and operate the Northern Goldfields Solar Project. Total construction capital of the project is estimated at A$73 million. Following an extensive tender process, TransAlta Australia has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with juwi Renewable Energy Pty Ltd. The project is the first renewable energy project to be developed under the Power Purchase Agreement recently extended with BHP in October 2020 and will have a term of 16.3 years. Final Notice to Proceed is expected during Q3 2021.    


About TransAlta Renewables Inc.

 TransAlta Renewables is among the largest of any publicly traded renewable independent power producers (“IPP”) in Canada. Our asset platform and economic interests are diversified in terms of geography, generation and counterparties and consist of interests in 24 wind facilities, 13 hydroelectric facilities, eight natural gas generation facilities, one solar facility, one natural gas pipeline, and one battery storage project, representing an ownership interest of 2,633 megawatts of owned generating capacity, located in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, the States of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington and the State of Western Australia. Our objectives are to (i) provide stable, consistent returns for investors through the ownership of, and investment in, highly contracted renewable and natural gas power generation and other infrastructure assets that provide stable cash flow primarily through long-term contracts with strong counterparties; (ii) pursue and capitalize on strategic growth opportunities in the renewable and natural gas power generation and other infrastructure sectors; (iii) maintain diversity in terms of geography, generation and counterparties; and (iv) pay out 80 to 85 per cent of cash available for distribution to the shareholders of the Company on an annual basis.


Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-looking Information

This news release contains “forward-looking information”, within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, and “forward-looking statements”, within the meaning of applicable United States securities laws, including the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively referred to herein as “forward-looking statements”). In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “plans”, “expects”, “proposed”, “will”, “anticipates”, “develop”, “continue”, and similar expressions suggesting future events or future performance. In particular, this news release contains, without limitation, statements pertaining to the development and construction of the Northern Goldfields Solar Project; the reduction in BHP’s Scope 2 emissions; the total capital of the Northern Goldfields Solar Project; the receipt of regulatory approvals; and timing of delivering final notice to proceed.  The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions, having regard to the Company’s experience and its perception of historical trends, and includes, but is not limited to, expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions relating to the extent of regulations pertaining to COVID-19 not becoming significantly more onerous.  These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause such differences include: the effects of weather, catastrophes and public health crises, including COVID-19; labour availability; disruptions to the Company’s supply chains, including in respect of the solar modules;  failure to obtain necessary regulatory approvals in a timely fashion, or at all; and other risks and uncertainties discussed in the Company’s materials filed with the securities regulatory authorities from time to time and as also set forth in the Company’s MD&A and Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2020. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company’s expectations only as of the date of this news release. TransAlta Renewables disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.


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