July 4, 2024

Aggreko to Construct 10.5 MW Solar Farms in Northern Australia

Aggreko, a UK-based power solutions provider, has been chosen to build two solar farms totaling 10.5 MW on land leased by mining group Rio Tinto Ltd on the Gove Peninsula in Australia's Northern Territory.

Aggreko Partners with Rio Tinto

Aggreko is a world leader in energy solutions. It provides modular and scalable photovoltaic solar panel systems and equipment, including installation, monitoring, and battery storage.

Aggreko will construct two 5.25 MW solar farms through its agreement with Rio Tinto, enabling renewable energy to be made available to communities on the Gove peninsula in the Northern Territory. Construction is scheduled to commence this month, with the project expected to be operational by early 2025.

Aggreko and Rio Tinto Gove will extend an existing power supply arrangement for a further 10 years, with Aggreko to deliver and maintain these 5.25 MW solar farms.

George Whyte, Managing Director of Aggreko Asia Pacific, added: "Aggreko is delighted to extend its longstanding partnership with Rio Tinto Gove for another decade. The installation of two solar farms will significantly reduce the region's carbon footprint.”

Aggreko to Build Solar Farms on Indigenous Land

The solar facilities will be constructed on land belonging to the Gumatj and Rirratjingu clans, the traditional indigenous owners of the Gove Peninsula.

Shannon Price, acting manager of Rio Tinto Gove Operations, stated: "We are collaborating with the Northern Territory Government and Traditional Owners to facilitate the seamless transfer of leased land, town assets, and infrastructure as Rio Tinto prepares to conclude mining activities at Gove by the end of this decade.”

Bauxite mining activities on the Gove Peninsula are anticipated to conclude by the end of this decade.

Rio Tinto Gove Operations Acting General Manager, Shannon Price said "The Gove solar project aligns with our shared vision with Traditional Owners to create a positive legacy for the Gove Peninsula communities after bauxite mining ends. We’re excited to collaborate with the Gumatj and Rirratjingu clans to secure alternative electricity generation assets on their land and explore future opportunities to commercialise energy infrastructure.”

“We are collaborating with the Northern Territory Government and Traditional Owners to ensure a seamless transition of leased land, town assets, and infrastructure as Rio Tinto plans to cease mining at Gove later this decade.” Price added.

Aggreko Solar Farms to Cut Diesel Use by 20%

According to a statement published from Rio Tinto, once operational, the solar farms are projected to cut the region’s yearly diesel consumption by approximately 20%, amounting to 4.5 million litres annually. They are also expected to decrease annual carbon emissions by over 12,000 tonnes, which is comparable to removing 2,800 internal combustion engine cars from the road.

“The solar farms are also a key element of our ongoing effort to decarbonize our business. Once they are operational, they are expected to reduce annual CO2 emissions at our Gove operations by up to 17%. Our goal is for these farms to provide sustainable power for the region even after mining operations have ceased." said Shannon Price, Rio Tinto Gove Operations Acting General Manager.

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