Advising on Australia’s largest renewable power purchase agreements

Macquarie Capital acted as financial adviser to Rio Tinto on the acquisition of a targeted 4 GW of power purchase agreements (PPAs) from wind and solar generation assets in Queensland, Australia.

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Sector Energy
Sub-sector Renewables
Location Australia


Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest metals and mining corporations, is seeking to develop a portfolio of renewable energy projects progressively over the course of 5 to 7 years to generate green energy to supply their aluminium assets in Queensland.

The assets require 1140 MW of reliable power to operate, which equates to at least 4 GW of variable wind and solar generation with firming.

As part of this, Rio Tinto has signed Australia’s largest renewable PPA to date,1 agreeing to purchase 80 per cent of electricity generated from Windlab’s planned 1.4 GW Bungaban wind energy project.

It follows a similar agreement for 100 per cent of the electricity generated from European Energy’s 1.1 GW Upper Calliope solar farm announced in January 2024, which was also Australia’s largest renewable PPA at the time and remains Australia’s largest solar PPA to date.2

Both the latest Bungaban PPA, and recent Upper Calliope PPA, supports Rio Tinto’s climate goal of halving its global scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions this decade by repowering its aluminium assets at Gladstone (Boyne Smelter, Yurwin Alumina Refinery and Queensland Alumina Refinery) with green electricity.2


Macquarie Capital advised Rio Tinto on both the European Energy and Windlab deals, and the broader acquisition of a targeted 4 GW of renewable power.

The team provided advice throughout the process on acquisition, funding and operating models to meet the client's strategic, commercial and decarbonisation objectives.3


Under the new PPA with Windlab, Rio Tinto will buy 80 per cent of all power generated from the Bungaban wind energy project over 25 years.

The remaining 20 per cent of the project’s generated electricity will supply Australia’s National Electricity Market, delivering clean electricity to homes and businesses.1

The agreement will make Rio Tinto the biggest industrial buyer of renewable power in Australia and represents the largest renewable power purchase agreement by an Australian corporate to date.1

Once developed, the combined 2.2 GW of renewable PPAs with Windlab and European Energy have the potential to generate the equivalent of 10 per cent of Queensland’s current power demand.1

5 million tonnes

potential reduction in emissions each year1

~1,600 jobs

created during construction, with an additional 130 jobs supported when operating4

2.2 GW

of renewable energy generated5

Largest renewable PPA

by an Australian corporate to date1

  1. Rio Tinto, February 2024, “Rio Tinto signs Australia’s biggest renewable power deal as it works to repower its Gladstone operations
  2. Rio Tinto, January 2024, “Rio Tinto to drive development of Australia’s largest solar farm at Gladstone
  3. Rio Tinto, Climate Change, accessed March 2024
  4. Across both Upper Calliope and Bungaban projects
  5. 100 per cent of European Energy’s Upper Calliope 1.1 GW solar farm and 80 per cent of Windlab’s Bungaban 1.4 GW wind project

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