Rio Tinto Signs PPA, Plans to Build Australia's Largest Solar Farm - Smart Energy Decisions

Industrial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 24, 2024

Rio Tinto Signs PPA, Plans to Build Australia's Largest Solar Farm

Rio Tinto, a metals and mining company, signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to purchase power for 25 years.

The agreement was signed with European Energy Australia to buy all power generated from the Upper Calliope solar farm, the largest in Australia. The farm will be built and operated by European Energy, at a site about 50 kilometers south-west of Gladstone, pending development and grid connection approvals.

It will generate 1.1GW of solar power to provide energy for Rio Tinto’s Gladstone operations.

The agreement could also provide the core of a solution to repower Rio Tinto’s three Gladstone production assets - the Boyne aluminum smelter, the Yarwun alumina refinery, and the Queensland Alumina refinery.

Once approved and developed, Upper Calliope would have the potential to lower Rio Tinto's operating carbon emissions by 1.8 million tons annually. 

“This agreement is a first important step in our work to repower our Gladstone operations and illustrates our commitment to keeping sustainably powered industry in Central Queensland,” said Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm, in a statement. “The task remains challenging, but we have a pathway to provide the competitive, firmed power our Gladstone plants need and we are continuing to work hard with all stakeholders, including the Queensland and Australian governments, on getting there.”

Construction of the Upper Calliope plant is targeted to start in 2025 or 2026. When it is completed, it will provide enough electricity to meet about 5% of Queensland’s current demand. 

« Back to Renewable Energy

  • LinkedIn
  • Subscribe

Smart Energy Decisions Content Partners