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  • Fortescue Metals is partnering with Alinta Energy to fully power its Chichester Hub using solar energy during day-time operations
  • A 60 megawatt solar generation facility will be installed at the Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak operations
  • Alinta will receive more than $114 million in funding upon satisfaction of conditions
  • Fortescue is up 0.92 per cent with shares trading for $8.24 apiece

Fortescue Metals is partnering with Alinta Energy to power its Chichester Hub iron ore operations by solar energy for all day-time operations.

The Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid project will see the construction of a 60 megawatt (MW) solar generation facility at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations.

In addition, a 60-kilometre long transmission line to link Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations with Alinta’s Newman gas-fired power station and a 35MW battery facility will be constructed with completion due mid-2021.

Once completed, up to 100 per cent of daytime stationary energy requirements at the Chichester Hub will be provided by solar generation.

The remaining power requirements will be met through the integrated battery storage and gas power station facilities.

The Chichester Project is expected to displace around 100 million litres of diesel fuel per year, used in the existing Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak power stations.

“This landmark project is a first on this scale for the Pilbara and will reduce carbon emissions from stationary generation by around 40 per cent at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations,” Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines said.

Alinta will receive Federal funding of $24.2 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $90 million from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) upon satisfaction of standard conditions.

“Alinta’s project will demonstrate how renewable energy solutions can deliver critical energy requirements for major mining operations and help reduce emissions,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller said.

“This will also show how interconnection of loads and different generation and storage — including solar, gas and battery storage — can provide secure and reliable electricity,” he added.

Fortescue is up slightly with shares trading for $8.24 apiece at 2:43 pm AEDT.

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