Rio Tinto to Build Solar in Canada - Diversified Communications

Industrial, Solar  -  August 10, 2023

Rio Tinto to Build Solar in Canada

Rio Tinto’s Diavik Diamond Mine will construct a large solar power plant in Canada, including over 6,600 solar panels that will generate approximately 4,200 MWh of electricity annually for the mine.

The solar power plant will provide up to 25% of Diavik’s electricity during closure work that will run until 2029. Construction will start in the coming weeks, and the solar power plant will be fully operational in the first half of 2024. Commercial production from the operation is expected to end in early 2026.

The facility will be equipped with bi-facial panels that will not only generate energy from direct sunlight, but also from the light that reflects off the snow that covers Diavik for most of the year. It will cut diesel consumption at the site by approximately one million liters per year and reduce emissions by 2,900 tons of CO2 equivalent.

“I am delighted that we will be significantly increasing our renewable power generation with the largest solar power plant in Canada’s northern territories at the Diavik Diamond Mine,” President and Chief Operating Officer of the Diavik Diamond Mine Angela Bigg said in a statement. “Through its wind-diesel hybrid power facility, Diavik is already a leader in cold climate renewable technology and this important project reinforces our dedication to reducing our carbon footprint. I would like to thank both the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada for their support to deploy this project.”

The solar power plant will significantly expand Diavik’s renewable energy generation, which already features a wind-diesel hybrid power facility that has a capacity of 55.4 MW and provides the site’s electricity.

The project is supported by CAN$3.3 million in funding from the Government of the Northwest Territories’ Large Emitters GHG Reducing Investment Grant program, and CAN$600,000 from the Government of Canada’s Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit.

Rio Tinto’s goal is to lower its Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 and to achieve net zero across its operations by 2050.

Keywords: Rio Tinto

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