Rio Tinto plans to speculate $402 million (AUD 600 million) to construct two new photo voltaic farms and battery vitality storage methods in Western Australia’s Pilbara area, as a part of its efforts to decarbonize its iron ore operations.
Useful resource-sector heavyweight Rio Tinto has unveiled the newest steps in its plan to energy its Western Australian operations with renewable vitality. The multinational miner mentioned it would fund the development of two 100 MW photo voltaic farms, in addition to 200 MWh of on-grid battery storage within the Pilbara by 2026.
Work on the primary of the standalone 100 MW photo voltaic farms, which would require the set up of about 225,000 photo voltaic panels, is anticipated to begin in 2023, with Rio Tinto anticipating the challenge shall be completed and within the commissioning part by 2025. The second of the photo voltaic farms is because of come on-line a yr later.
Preliminary funding for the primary of the PV tasks and related transmission infrastructure has already been ticked off, with remaining capital approval anticipated within the second quarter of 2023. The miner mentioned it has additionally commenced talks with the Western Australian authorities and conventional homeowners about securing the related approvals and required land on the Pilbara coast for the tasks.
The brand new photo voltaic and storage is along with the 34 MW of PV already put in at Rio Tinto’s not too long ago commissioned Gudai-Darri iron ore mine. The addition types a part of the mining big’s beforehand introduced plan to develop a 1 GW solar and wind power operation within the Pilbara as a part of a world dedication to speculate roughly $7.5 billion to halve emissions by the tip of the last decade.
The corporate mentioned it will embrace vital funding in transmission infrastructure to help full decarbonization of the Pilbara, together with electrification of the miner’s cell and rail gear past 2030, which is estimated to require as much as 3 GW of put in renewable vitality belongings.
“The Pilbara is extraordinarily well-positioned to benefit from renewable energy with land, entry to folks, and considerable wind and photo voltaic sources,” mentioned Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Government Simon Trott. “We anticipate to speculate round $3 billion to put in renewable vitality belongings in addition to transmission and storage upgrades within the Pilbara as a part of our commitment to halve our emissions from the Pilbara by the tip of this decade.”
The brand new tasks mixed are anticipated to abate round 300,000 tons of carbon emissions, equal to a ten% discount in whole Scope 1 and a couple of emissions from Rio Tinto’s iron ore enterprise within the Pilbara, primarily based on 2021 ranges.
Rio Tinto expects the tasks to cut back its fuel consumption within the Pilbara by about 30%.