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Rio Tinto set to build its first solar plant in WA worth $98 million

Rio Tinto set to build its first solar plant in WA worth $98 million
Rio Tinto set to build its first solar plant in WA worth $98 million
  • The solar plant in Western Australia is being built to power the iron ore mine
  • A projected 100,000 panels covering area of 105 hectares will be deployed
Rio Tinto has given a green signal to the $98 million (hundred percent basis) new solar plant at the Koodaideri iron ore development in the Pilbara, Australia, along with a lithium-ion battery energy storage system to help boost its Pilbara power network. Reportedly, the 34-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant will supply 65% of the average electricity demand of the mine and all the electricity demand of Koodaideri at the time of peak solar power generation. The first company-owned solar facility of Rio Tinto is expected to comprise of a projected 100,000 panels, spanning an area of 105 hectares. Subject to government approval, the construction is slated to start in the tail-end of 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2021. Rio Tinto also contemplates building a 12MWh battery energy storage system in Tom Price which will supply spinning reserve generating capacity to underpin a reliable and stable network. According to reports, the battery and solar plant are projected to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by around 90,000 tons in comparison with conventional gas-powered generation, akin to taking around 28,000 cars off the road. Chris Salisbury, CEO of Rio Tinto Iron Ore stated that the construction of the first solar plant in WA is a cornerstone in the business's aim at curbing carbon footprint in the Australian shores. Building on the 43% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions since 2008, Salisbury opined that they are leaving no stones unturned in a quest to find renewable energy options in the Pilbara and seek other options to curb emissions across the global portfolio. Apparently, Rio Tinto is gearing to give a whole new definition to the new emissions-reducing targets from 2020, as they foray into a lower carbon space. Source credit: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/rio-tinto-build-first-solar-230300992.html