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One step closer to renewable energy boost for closed mine sites

BHP and Rocky Mountain Institute’s partnership to repurpose legacy mine sites in North America for renewable energy production has been boosted by a collaboration with Pattern Development. Pattern Development has begun signing land options and preparing more detailed engineering and permitting plans to develop solar plants and storage facilities at two former mining sites in Arizona and New Mexico.

BHP is committed to putting health and safety first, being environmentally responsible, and supporting our communities. This extends to mine sites that are no longer operating, including those BHP took ownership of after mining was completed. “Our vision is not only to reclaim legacy sites and address environmental impacts, but also to find ways to repurpose them for long-term community benefit”, said Marny Reakes, BHP’s Head of Closed Sites.

Re-purposing these closed sites for solar energy generation aligns with BHP’s commitment to climate change and our global work on renewable energy. These renewable energy projects are planned, large-scale solar photovoltaic generating facilities to be located on brownfield land at the former Ambrosia Lake mining site in northwestern New Mexico and the former San Manuel plant site in southern Arizona.

Pattern Development is a leader in developing renewable energy and transmission assets. With a long history in wind energy, Pattern Development’s highly-experienced team has developed, financed and placed into operation more than 4,500 MW of wind and solar power projects. A strong commitment to promoting environmental stewardship drives the company’s dedication in working closely with communities to create renewable energy projects. Pattern Development has offices in the USA, Canada and Japan.

BHP and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) are continuing to work together to address the growing need for renewable resources, and supporting local communities in finding solutions to address economic challenges post mining. Through our work with county and regional development groups, we are aiding efforts to integrate innovation and renewable energy as part of the next phase of growth in the regions in which we once operated. As an example, BHP and RMI are participating in local community working groups on regional development and are looking to develop partnerships with new industries that might benefit from the renewable energy production at BHP’s closed mine sites.