CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Olympic Dam's renewable future?

Could BHP's Olympic Dam expansion be powered by geothermal, solar and wind energy? That's the billion-dollar vision of Petratherm head Terry Kallis.

Climate Spectator

It may seem somewhat audacious for a company with a market value of $16 million to propose a world-leading energy project nearly one hundred times its value. But, says Petratherm managing director Terry Kallis, if you don’t dream, you don’t get. And he just happens to think he’s sitting on a unique opportunity.

Kallis, on Wednesday, outlined his vision for a $1.5 billion clean energy precinct in the outback of South Australia that would take advantage of the unique combination of geothermal, solar and wind energy resources, the intersection of major gas pipelines, and the proximity of the world’s largest mine and other major developments.

The big opportunity is, of course, to service the massive energy demands of BHP Billiton’s proposed Olympic Dam expansion – which could be more than 700MW at that site alone – as well as other proposed mines such as Prominent Hill. Mine managers do not normally think along the lines that Kallis has proposed – they will simply build a new transmission line if a connection is close enough, or build enough gas or diesel to ensure the operations keep going 24/7.

However, BHP Billiton have shown that they are willing to consider all options.

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