Alinta Plans 60mw Solar Farm To Slash Energy Costs For Pilbara Mining Giants

Energy utility Alinta has confirmed plans for a 60MW solar farm in the Pilbara region of north west Australia, saying the land-mark project will slash energy costs for the big mining operations in the area and underpin in new investments and mine expansions.

The 60MW Chichester solar farm, first revealed by RenewEconomy last August, will be located near the big Christmas Creek iron ore mine owned by Fortescue Metals (see map below) but will service mines all along a new transmission line being built by Alinta, including the Cloudbreak mine and Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine.

It is part of a major project that will extend the transmission line that runs from the Newman gas generator to Roy Hill mine by another 65kms to Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak.

It is groundbreaking because it is likely the biggest solar farm to be built into such a small and isolated grid, and landing in the middle of a major mining province, will likely change some key thinking about the shift to renewables.