By Adriano Marchese

 

Rio Tinto will build Canada's largest solar power plant in the Northwest Territories to provide energy to its diamond mine there.

The Anglo-Australian metals and mining giant said the power plant will be made up of 6,600 solar panels generating about 4,200 megawatt-hours of carbon-free electricity annually for the Diavik Diamond Mine.

In particular, the plant will provide up to a quarter of Diavik's electricity during closure work that will run until 2029, with commercial production from the operation expected to end in early 2026.

Rio Tinto said the plant will cut diesel consumption at the site by about one million liters a year and reduce emissions by 2,900 metric of CO2 equivalent.

The project will be partly paid for by funding from the Government of the Northwest Territories Large Emitters GHG Reducing Investment Grant program as well as federal tax credits.

Currently, Diavik's renewable energy generation includes a wind-diesel hybrid power facility that has a capacity of 55.4 megawatts and provides the site's electricity.

Construction will begin in the coming weeks, Rio Tinto said, and the solar power plant will be fully operational in the first half of next year.

 

Write to Adriano Marchese at adriano.marchese@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 10, 2023 11:00 ET (15:00 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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