Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Group will soon be adding a new solar farm and battery storage at its bauxite mine in Queensland, Australia. The additional equipment will increase the site’s solar power generation by over three times as well as bumping up the amount of clean power generation for the firm’s operations in the area.
Rio Tinto has come to an agreement with EDL to build, own, and operate 4 MW of production equipment and 4MW/4MWh of battery storage at its mine at Weipa. EDL will commence construction by year’s end, with completion expected by the end of next year.
Rio Tinto Aluminium Pacific Bauxite Operations General Manager Michelle Elvy said in a press release that the new power generation equipment would boost the sustainability of its operations at Weipa.
“The new solar farm and battery storage at Weipa will help us lower our carbon footprint and diesel use in a reliable way. The original Weipa solar farm was the largest solar facility at an off-grid Australian mine site at the time it was built, and it played an important role in showing the viability of renewable energy systems in remote locations.”
“The new solar farm and battery storage system is part of Rio Tinto’s group-wide commitment to reduce emissions across our operations,” he continued. “There is clearly more work to be done, but projects like this are an important part of meeting our climate targets.”
EDL Chief Executive Officer James Harman said his firm was pleased to take on the new project.
“We welcome the opportunity to continue supporting Rio Tinto to reduce carbon emissions. EDL will be leveraging expertise from our hybrid renewable energy systems around Australia to deliver clean and reliable energy for Rio Tinto’s operations and the local community.”
Under the agreement Rio Tinto will purchase the power generated at the site from EDL. The new solar power equipment is expected to reduce the site’s carbon production by about 20 thousand metric tons per annum.