Rio Tinto powering up with two solar farms in Australia.

By Oliver Townsend Jul 4, 2024
Rio Tinto to build two solar farms in Northern Territory, Australia.jpegOrginal image from: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/04072024/rio-tinto-to-build-two-solar-farms-in-northern-territory-australia/

Rio Tinto, a global mining company, has announced plans to build two solar farms in the Northern Territory, Australia. These solar farms, with a combined capacity of 10.5 MW, will be constructed on Gumatj and Rirratjingu country on the Gove Peninsula. The initiative is part of Rio Tinto’s efforts to ensure a sustainable power supply for the region beyond mining operations.

Rio Tinto’s Commitment to Sustainability

The agreement with the Gumatj and Rirratjingu Traditional Owner Groups reflects Rio Tinto’s commitment to environmental sustainability and community engagement. These solar farms aim to underpin a low-carbon future for the Gove community post-mining operations. The project is a step towards Rio Tinto’s goal of reducing annual CO2 emissions by up to 17% at the Gove operations.

Partnership with Aggreko

Aggreko, a global leader in mobile and modular power solutions, will be responsible for constructing, owning, and operating the solar farms for up to 10 years. Construction is set to commence in July 2024, with completion expected by early 2025. This partnership underscores Rio Tinto’s strategy to collaborate with industry leaders to drive sustainable energy solutions.

Impact on the Region

Once operational, the solar farms are projected to reduce the region’s annual diesel consumption by approximately 20% and lower carbon emissions by over 12,000 tonnes per year. This reduction is equivalent to taking 2800 internal combustion engine cars off the road. The initiative not only benefits the environment but also contributes to the economic and social well-being of the Gove Peninsula communities.

Future Outlook

Rio Tinto’s Gove Operations Acting General Manager, Shannon Price, emphasized the company’s commitment to leaving a positive legacy for the region. The solar farms are a testament to Rio Tinto’s dedication to decarbonize its business operations and support the transition to sustainable power sources. By working closely with Traditional Owners and local authorities, Rio Tinto aims to ensure a smooth transition as mining activities cease in the area.

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