Manufacturing News, Northern Territory, Renewable Energy, Sustainability

Rio Tinto to build two new NT solar farms

Two new solar farms will be built on Gumatj and Rirratjingu country on the Gove Peninsula, NT, as Rio Tinto works to secure a more sustainable power supply for the region beyond mining.

The solar farms will be built on Rio Tinto leases, following agreement with the Gumatj and Rirratjingu Traditional Owner Groups on the location of the facilities.

The sites will help underpin a low-carbon future for the Gove community after mining operations cease, towards the end of the decade.

Aggreko will construct, own and operate the solar farms for Rio Tinto for up to 10 years, beginning construction in July 2024 and with completion scheduled for early 2025.

The two sites will have combined capacity of 10.5MW.

Rio Tinto Gove Operations acting general manager, Shannon Price, said the project is apar of a shared vision with traditional owners to leave a legacy for the Gove Peninsula communities.

“We’re excited to work with the Gumatj and Rirratjingu clans to provide an opportunity to secure alternative electricity generation assets on their country and to discuss opportunities to commercialise energy infrastructure in the future,” said Price.

“We are working in partnership with the Northern Territory Government and Traditional Owners to ensure a smooth transition of leased land and town assets and infrastructure as Rio Tinto prepares to stop mining at Gove later this decade.

“We are committed to our role in helping to plan for the region’s future, which includes providing options for reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable infrastructure.”

When complete, the solar farms are expected to reduce the region’s annual diesel consumption by about 20 per cent, or 4.5 million litres a year and lower annual carbon emissions by over 12,000 tonnes.

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