Rio Tinto, the mining giant, on Wednesday announced a deal to buy all the electricity from the 1.1 GW Upper Calliope Solar Farm in Australia, in an effort to cut their global carbon emissions in half by 2030.
The 25-year agreement with European Energy Australia means Rio Tinto gets a stable supply of green power. The solar farm, managed by Danish developer European Energy, is set to be located around 50 kilometers southwest of Gladstone, pending approvals.
If given the go-ahead, this solar farm could slash Rio Tinto’s yearly carbon emissions by 1.8 million tonnes, making it a key player in the company’s efforts to go green in Gladstone.
Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto’s CEO, calls this deal a crucial first step in giving Gladstone operations a green boost. He acknowledges the challenges but is optimistic about providing the reliable power needed for Gladstone plants.
Construction of the Upper Calliope plant is expected to kick off in 2025 or 2026.
Once up and running, it’s anticipated to cover about 5% of Queensland’s current electricity needs. The massive 2400-hectare site is set to create 1000 jobs during construction and support 100 jobs when operational.