Global mining corporation Rio Tinto has announced plans to build its first solar photovoltaic plant.

Rio Tinto approved $98m in investment to construct a 34 MW solar system at its Koodaideri iron ore mine in the Pilbara in Western Australia.

The solar energy system will be integrated with a 12 MWh battery energy storage system to help power the firm’s entire Pilbara power network.

The solar facility will supply approximately 65 per cent of the $2.6bn mining project’s average energy demand.

Read more
South Africa’s power crisis puts mining sector at risk
Wärtsilä and Aggreko to modernize power generation at Malian gold mine

The project will comprise 100,000 solar panels installed on 105 hectares of land. The plant is expected to be completed in 2021.

The project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by about 90,000 tonnes compared to conventional gas-powered generation. This is the equivalent of taking about 28,000 cars off the road.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said: “The construction of our first solar plant in the Pilbara is a significant milestone for the business and an important step in reducing our carbon footprint in the region.

“We are investigating additional renewable energy options in the Pilbara, as well as other opportunities to reduce emissions across our entire global portfolio, building on the 43 per cent reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions since 2008.”

Enlit Australia will feature innovative companies accelerating decarbonisation at the APAC region’s largest gathering of companies driving and leading the energy transition. Are you going to be there? Click here to join us in Melbourne between 19 and 21 August.

Originally posted on smart-energy.com