Rio Tinto Wants Solar & Storage For Bauxite Mine

Mining Giant Brings On Board Aggreko To Build 12.4 MW Solar Farm With Battery Storage In Queensland

Rio Tinto Wants Solar & Storage For Bauxite Mine

Rio Tinto is expanding its solar and storage capacity at Weipa in Queensland to power Amrun operations. Pictured is the company’s existing solar farm at Weipa. (Photo Credit: Rio Tinto)

  • At its Weipa location in Queensland, Rio Tinto will add another solar and storage project to power Amrun mine 
  • The 12.4 MW solar and 8.8 MVa/2.1 MWh storage facility will join an existing 5.6 MW solar and 4 MWh storage project at Weipa 
  • Aggreko will build, own and operate the project; the company is already a supplier of diesel power under an existing contract 

Rio Tinto, the global metals mining group, has green signaled a new solar and battery storage farm in Queensland to power its Amrun bauxite mining operations with renewable energy.  

The 12.4 MW solar farm accompanied by an 8.8 MVa/2.1 MWh of battery storage capacity will be located near Weipa, where it is already operating a 5.6 MW solar and 4 MWh battery project since 2015. Together, these solar farms are expected to lower Weipa’s diesel consumption by close to 10 million liters/year. 

British power company Aggreko is on board to build, own and operate (BOO) the solar farm for the mine in addition to its current contract with Rio Tinto to supply electricity from an existing diesel power station. 

“The Amrun solar farm will be one of three Weipa Operations solar stations, which will together provide 18 MW of solar generation capacity to our mines and the Weipa town,” said Rio Tinto Operations General Manager Shona Markham. “This project helps us make inroads towards our ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operations.” 

The project is expected to come online by early 2025 when it will generate about 21 GWh of renewable energy annually.  

Rio Tinto said the new project is part of its global decarbonization strategy and ongoing efforts to reduce emissions at its Pacific bauxite, alumina and aluminum operations. 

In October 2023, the mining group joined hands with YEC Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation to explore up to 700 MW renewable energy generation in Western Australia’s Pilbara to reduce its gas use (see Natives Sign Renewable Energy Deal With Mining Group). 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power. --Email: [email protected]

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