Thermal solar power will make the mine greener

Heliogen, backed by Bill Gates, will build a solar tower at Rio Tinto’s mine. The company hopes to reduce the plant’s carbon footprint by seven percent.

Mining giant Rio Tinto, based in the UK and Australia, is now investing in renewable energy in the form of thermal solar power. At Rio Tinto’s drilling mine in California, a solar tower will be ready for operation next year. The hope is that the solution will be able to reduce the business’s carbon footprint by up to seven percent. It writes Heliogen in a press release.

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The American company Heliogen is supported by Bill Gates and develops a technology where lots of mirrors concentrate sunbeams to a specific point on a tower. There, it is probably liquid salt that is heated. However, the company is secretive about the exact technology.

Because artificial intelligence optimizes the angle of the mirrors, the plant can reach 1,500 ° C, which is a big step compared to many similar plants.

Read more: Researcher: “Bill Gates seems to have snowed in a bit on nuclear power”

Can greatly reduce carbon dioxide emissions

In the California borate mine, Heliogen’s technology will replace some of the fossil fuel currently used in the mining processes. The steam that is needed is currently created by burners that run on natural gas.

In the future, the sun will contribute to steam production. Some energy is stored in the form of heat so that the work can continue even after the sun has set.

Rio Tinto is considering expanding its solar plant, and sees potential for reducing the mine’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 24 percent.

Read more: The Gates-backed solar energy company can contribute to cement production

– In the partnership with Heliogen, there is great potential for us to be able to reduce our emissions at Boron, thanks to the innovative solar technology. And we look forward to exploring the opportunities that exist within our global portfolio, says Jakob Stausholm, chief executive at Rio Tinto.


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