Atalaya Mining and Enel X Global Retail are collaborating to build a 50 MW solar power plant at the Riotinto mine. The factory covers 234,000 square meters and contains more than 75,000 solar panels.
In the historic Riotinto copper mine, energy consumption is 70% of the carbon footprint caused by the operation. As a result, Atalaya Mining decided to drastically cut this figure: for the sake of the environment, mine efficiency and the high health, safety, environment and quality (HSEQ) standards set by the company in the 21st century.
Atalaya has always been interested in the path that Riotinto should follow to ensure the extraction and supply of strategically important raw materials to the continent while being committed to the environment. The company aims to combine sustainable energy self-production with security of supply and lowering energy costs.
The largest solar power plant in a Spanish mine
The partnership between Enel and Atalaya will result in the largest solar power plant ever built at a mine in Spain. The Riotinto Mine project covers an area of over 234,000 square meters with 75,765 solar panels with a total capacity of 50 MW. The solar energy project has its own substation, which performs the electrical transformation from 132 kV to 30 kV (high to low voltage).
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The plant covers 25% of Riotinto’s energy needs, resulting in significant financial savings in energy costs, while the mine’s CO2 emissions are reduced by 40,000 tonnes, equivalent to 173,000 barrels of oil. That’s the same amount as 20,000 Spaniards spent in a year.
Atalaya’s 300 million euro investment extends well beyond the life cycle of the mine. The joint project with Enel X Global Retail will provide permanent employment in the area, which is a significant added value. And this is just the beginning: the two companies are already looking ahead, with a new project in the starting blocks of the Galician Touro mine.
Enel SpA’s unit Enel X Global Retail aims to offer an ecosystem of integrated energy supply and value-added solutions for all sectors, including the most challenging ones. By developing economically and environmentally sustainable projects that anticipate future needs and enable industrial players to manage their energy, Enel aims to prove that cost efficiency, innovation and sustainable development can indeed coexist.