By Rhiannon Hoyle
Rio Tinto PLC said it intends to invest $600 million to build two solar farms and battery storage in Australia's Pilbara region, to help lower the emissions from its iron-ore mining operations there.
The world's second-biggest miner by market value said it plans to construct two 100-megawatt solar-power facilities and 200-megawatt-hours of on-grid battery storage in the remote part of northwest Australia by 2026.
The investment is part of the company's efforts to decarbonize its Western Australian iron-ore operations and is in addition to the 34 megawatts of solar power installed at Rio Tinto's new Gudai-Darri iron-ore mine.
"We expect to invest around $3 billion to install renewable energy assets as well as transmission and storage upgrades in the Pilbara as part of our commitment to halve our emissions from the Pilbara by the end of this decade," said the head of the company's iron-ore business, Simon Trott.
Rio Tinto said initial funding for its first standalone 100-megawatt solar photovoltaic system on the Pilbara coast has been approved.
Construction of the roughly 225,000 solar panels, which will be built to withstand the Pilbara's cyclonic conditions, is expected to start next year ahead of commissioning in 2025, said the miner.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 29, 2022 17:35 ET (22:35 GMT)Copyright (c) 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.