Solar to power North Queensland bauxite mine

Image courtesy of Rio Tinto

MPower has signed a contract with global photovoltaic systems provider First Solar (Australia) to construct a solar power plant for Rio Tinto Alcan’s Weipa bauxite mine.

The Weipa project involves the construction of a 1.7MW solar farm at a cost of $4 million. A possible second stage, worth $17 million, is planned by First Solar, but is not included in this contract.

The move extends MPower’s large-scale solar development activities and marks a major milestone for renewable energy’s capacity to integrate into remote off-grid power stations.

MPower’s involvement comes after it acquired assets of Ingenero, an Australian solar power company that was placed into receivership in July, including a project team and intellectual property.

Construction will commence immediately and is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2015.