Rio Tinto continues solar-storage press with new hybrid installation at Australian mine

Sep 20, 2021 02:57 PM ET
  • Mining business Rio Tinto has revealed plans for a brand-new solar project and battery power storage system that will certainly aid to decarbonise an off-grid mine in the Australian state of Queensland.
Rio Tinto continues solar-storage press with new hybrid installation at Australian mine
Image: Rio Tinto

Specialist EDL will certainly construct, own and also operate a 4MW solar farm paired with 4MW/4MWh of battery storage space, matching an existing 1.6 MW PV project-- which was completed in 2015 and is also owned by EDL-- in addition to a diesel-fired power plant at the Weipa site.

The expansion will certainly more than triple the regional electrical energy network's solar generation capability, with battery storage securing the system and also thermal generation loading the void in the evening or when there is reduced sunlight, EDL stated.

Deal with the battery setup will certainly start this year, with building and construction of the entire project slated for completion by late 2022, when it will certainly offer about 11GWh of power annually. Combined with upgrades to the existing Weipa power generation network, it is expected the improvements will certainly lower diesel consumption at the bauxite mine procedure by an approximated 7 million litres each year.

" The new solar ranch and battery storage at Weipa will aid us lower our carbon impact and diesel use in a dependable means," stated Michelle Elvy, Rio Tinto Aluminium Pacific bauxite procedures basic supervisor. "The initial Weipa solar farm was the largest solar facility at an off-grid Australian mine site at the time it was constructed, as well as it played an important function in showing the practicality of renewable resource systems in remote locations."

As Rio Tinto intends to get to net no exhausts throughout its procedures by 2050, the company is relying on renewables and storage space to aid power several of its mining operations. It was exposed in July that a solar-wind-energy storage hybrid project will certainly supply 60% of annual electrical energy demand at one of the firm's mines in Madagascar.

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