Whaft near Gladstone

A bright spark

We’re driving the development of Australia’s largest solar power project to help repower our assets in Gladstone, Queensland

Last updated: 31 January 2024


The materials we mine and refine are vital for a renewable future. But producing them uses a lot of energy. So we're working closely with partners around the world to find new and better ways to power our operations.

One way we're working towards that is through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with European Energy. We’ll buy all power generated from their 1.1GW Upper Calliope Solar Farm – Australia's largest solar power project.

Here are 5 reasons we're energised about this development:

1. It’s big – very big

Once approved, the project will span 2,700 hectares and it’ll generate enough electricity to meet about 5% of Queensland’s current demand.

And if combined with more renewable power and suitable firming, transmission and industrial policy, it could provide the core of a solution to repower our three Gladstone production assets - the Boyne aluminium smelter, the Yarwun alumina refinery and the Queensland Alumina refinery.

What’s a PPA?

Renewable Power Purchase Agreements, or PPAs, are contracts to buy power from energy suppliers, who will produce it from renewable sources.

Power Purchase Agreements

2. A quarter of a century deal

Under the terms of the PPA, we’ll be able to access 100% of the renewable energy from the facility for 25 years. Once approved, the plant will be built and operated by European Energy, at a site about 50 kilometres south-west of Gladstone, pending development and grid connection approvals.

3. Jobs that shine bright

Pending approval, construction of the Upper Calliope plant is targeted to start in 2025 or 2026. It’s expected to take 2 years to construct, will employ 1,000 people during construction, and support 100 direct and indirect jobs when operating.

4. Potential emissions savings

Once approved and developed, Upper Calliope would have the potential to lower carbon emissions from our operations by 1.8 million tonnes per year.

We recognise decarbonsing our Gladstone assets is essential to meeting our 2030 carbon reduction targets, however, it’ll require the delivery of complex technical and commercial solutions supported by governments.

5. Teamwork makes the dream work

Economically repowering large, energy-intensive assets is a highly complicated and challenging process. We still need more renewable power, from projects around Queensland, and suitable firming, transmission and industrial policy.

So we’re continuing to work closely with all stakeholders, including the Queensland and Australian governments, on a path forward.

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