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Windlab signs Rio Tinto PPA at 1.4GW Bungaban

RICHARD HEAP

February 21, 2024

Australian developer Windlab has agreed to supply most of the power from its 1.4GW Bungaban wind project in Queensland, Australia, to mining giant Rio Tinto.

The firms have signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for 80% of the electricity from Bungaban, which is due to be commissioned in 2029. The remaining 20% will be supplied to Australia’s National Electricity Market.

Rio Tinto said it would use the power to supply its production projects in Gladstone: Boyne aluminium smelter, Queensland alumina refinery and Yarwun alumina refinery.

This is Rio Tinto’s second renewables PPA for its Gladstone operations after it signed a deal with European Energy in January 2024 for electricity from the 1.1GW Upper Calliope solar farm.

John Martin, chief executive at Windlab, said: “This agreement highlights the importance of large-scale renewable energy projects in shoring up Queensland’s powerhouse traditional industries, particularly minerals and advanced processing, which employ thousands of people in regional communities across the state and have a key role to play in our nation’s low-carbon future.”

Jakob Stausholm, chief executive at Rio Tinto, said: “This agreement with Windlab builds on our momentum in our work to repower our Gladstone operations and provide a sustainable future for heavy industry in Central Queensland. The task remains challenging, but we have a pathway to provide the competitive, firmed power our Gladstone plants need and we are continuing to work hard with all stakeholders, including the Queensland and Australian governments, on getting there.”

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