Rio Tinto to power Australian iron ore mine with solar PV

Feb 21, 2020 09:27 AM ET
  • Mining large Rio Tinto has actually authorized the building and construction of a large solar PV as well as battery storage space system for its Koodaideri mine in Western Australia. When finished, the solar plant will certainly be amongst Australia's biggest PV setups at a mining website.
Rio Tinto to power Australian iron ore mine with solar PV
Image: Rio Tinto / YouTube

Mining leviathan Rio Tinto has actually authorized a $98 million solar + battery power storage space system at its Koodaideri mine in the Pilbara, Western Australia (WA). The firm is purchasing solar PV as well as power storage space as it aims to minimize carbon discharges from its coal procedures.

This project will certainly be the very first time Rio Tinto has really had a solar center, with the exception of a 6.7 MW solar array at its remote bauxite procedure in Weipa, Queensland, which has actually been sustained by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Its brand-new installments-- a 34 MW solar PV plant-- will provide roughly 65% of the Koodaideri iron ore mine's power needs. It is approximated that the mixed project can lower Rio Tinto's co2 discharges by 90,000 loads each year, which is the matching of getting rid of 28,000 vehicles from the roadway.

With building and construction anticipated to start later on this year as well as end in 2021, the project will certainly contain an approximated 100,000 panels accompanied by a 12 MWh lithium-ion battery power storage space system (ESS). The ESS will certainly be found in the community of Tom Price (called after Thomas Moore Price, previous vice-president of U.S. steel business Kaiser Steel), where it will certainly supply spinning get capability for the whole Pilbara power network.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Chris Salisbury stated the solar PV plant is a considerable landmark for the business, "and also an essential action in decreasing our carbon impact in the area."

"We are examining added renewable resource choices in the Pilbara, in addition to various other possibilities to decrease exhausts throughout our whole international profile, structure on the 43% decrease in outright greenhouse gas exhausts given that 2008," stated Salisbury.

Obviously, Rio Tinto is not the only mining titan to make the button to renewables in the Pilbara. In a spots contract with Alinta Energy late in 2015, it was revealed that Fortescue Metals would certainly utilize solar energy for as much as 100% of its daytime power requires at its Chichester Hub iron ore procedure.

The Koodaideri iron ore mine is a AUD 3.5 billion financial investment for Rio Tinto.

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