Rio Tinto to get power from Madagascar’s first wind project

Mining giant and government joint venture agrees to purchase power from solar, wind and battery storage project

The wind-solar-storage hybrid project will power a mine near Port Ehoala (pic:Balou46/wikimediacommons)
The wind-solar-storage hybrid project will power a mine near Port Ehoala (pic:Balou46/wikimediacommons)

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Mining corporation Rio Tinto has signed a power purchasing agreement (PPA) with a solar and wind power plant to supply an ilmenite mine in Fort Dauphin, southern Madagascar.

The project is to be built, owned and operated by independent power producer CrossBoundary Energy (CBE). It will comprise an 8MW solar facility, the 12MW Port Ehoala Park Port Ehoala Park (12MW) OnshoreToliara Province, Madagascar, Middle East & Africa Click to see full details wind farm and an up to 8.25MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system.

Up to nine wind turbines will be installed in the Port Ehoala Park area. Construction of the wind power plant is planned to commence early next year and be completed by the end of 2022.

The project will supply all of the mine's electricity demand during peak generation times, and up to 60% of the operations' annual electricity consumption. The mine's owner, QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM), is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (80%) and the government of Madagascar (20%).

Rio Tinto has a goal to make its Madagascar operations carbon neutral by 2023. QMM will replace the majority of the power it currently supplies to the town of Fort Dauphin and the community of around 80,000 people with renewables.

"The government of Madagascar is committed to the energy transition and to setting up Madagascar to be energy independent," said Madagascar's secretary general at the energy ministry ,Andriatongarivo Tojonirina Andrisoa.

"QMM's renewable energy project, technically ambitious with two installations dedicated to solar and wind, is fully aligned with that vision."

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