Rio approves major solar farm in Cape York

Rio Tinto, the multinational mining corporation, has given the green light for a novel 12.4-megawatt (MW) solar farm accompanied by battery storage at its Amrun bauxite facility located in the vicinity of Weipa, Queensland.

solar farm

As part of its worldwide decarbonization initiative and ongoing efforts to decrease emissions at its Pacific alumina, bauxite, and aluminum factories, Rio Tinto has launched this project.

According to Shona Markham, the general manager of Rio Tinto’s Weipa operations, the establishment of the Amrun solar farm and battery storage system, situated on the traditional lands of Wik and Wik-Waya, marks a significant achievement for the corporation. This development plays a crucial role in Rio Tinto’s goal to decrease operational greenhouse gas emissions.

Weipa’s three solar stations, including the Amrun solar farm, are set to provide a total of 18MW of solar generation capacity to both the local mines and the town.

“Our aspirations to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from our operations are being realized with the aid of this project, paving the way for further progress.

According to recent reports, the implementation of this project is anticipated to produce a significant reduction in Amrun’s diesel-generated electricity consumption, estimated to be around 37%. Additionally, it is expected to curtail the yearly CO2 emissions by a staggering 14,000 tonnes, which is a major milestone in the fight against environmental degradation.

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Aggreko has been awarded a contract to construct, possess, and manage a solar farm that will provide sustainable energy to the mining operations. This is in addition to their current contract to supply electricity generated from an already established diesel power station.

George Whyte, the managing director of Aggreko Asia Pacific, expressed enthusiasm for the company’s involvement in assisting Rio Tinto with their decarbonisation objectives, as well as furthering their own sustainability goals through this project.

“As a global leader in providing clean energy infrastructure, our mission is to expedite the energy transition. Our recent partnership with Rio Tinto’s Amrun operations is a testament to this mission. We are confident in our ability to deliver dependable and efficient energy to Amrun, furthering our commitment to sustainable energy solutions.

Construction has commenced on the upcoming solar farm, with plans for it to be fully functional by the start of 2025.

Upon its completion, the Amrun solar farm is projected to offer roughly 21 gigawatt hours of renewable energy per year.

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