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Status: Completed

Size: 1.7MW

Australia’s first commercial solar plant utilised to displace diesel has begun operations at mining company Rio Tinto’s Weipa bauxite mine in Queensland.

The 1.7MW project, developed by First Solar, is expected to generate 2.8GW of electricity annually and will also offer up to 20% of the daytime electricity demand of the mine’s township and processing buildings on the Western Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.

Rio Tinto signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with First Solar for the energy generated from the 18,000 modules at the plant, which is also comprised of First Solar’s FuelSmart solutions — designed to help cut down on diesel usage at Weipa’s various stations.