The Deepdale rail line project involved design, construction and commissioning of a turnkey optical fibre communications network along Rio Tinto's remote Deepdale rail line. This flowed into additional projects that involved the development of a solar/diesel hybrid system for mine and rail communications.

The project involved laying 143km of optic fibre and installing all associated power and transmission equipment. The scope also included building, designing and refurbishing older communications areas in existing buildings to service the new optical fibre link. 

As part of the contract, Ventia upgraded the original solar system with new, larger solar frames to double the array capacity. 

In order to overcome the remoteness of the work and the time to build solar panels our team created a solution to use modular array frames that could be prewired and partly preassembled in Perth. This initiative provided significant cost savings to the client as work at the Perth site would be more productive and safer than constructing in the remote, hot, on site locations. As the work involved working at heights, pre-assembly in Perth allowed walking platforms to be erected behind the arrays, providing a much safer working environment than on-site. It also saved time - each modular array frame was constructed in approximately two weeks, as compared to the normal time of four weeks on site.

Our work on the Deepdale project led to further projects with Rio Tinto, including:

  • The upgrade of seven solar power sites from Mount Tom Price to Karratha
  • Solar/diesel hybrid system for Rio's mine and rail communications. This turnkey project involved civils, earthing, building and power systems
  • Asolar/gas hybrid system for Telstra for the east west rail mobile communications and rail communications. This turnkey project involved civil, earthing, building, gas and power systems. 


The new hybrid solar system designed and constructed by Ventia provided a much larger load capacity and incorporated a passively cooled system. It included diesel generators with DC powered intelligent fan systems which controlled the DC powered air-conditioners. The final system was designed to survive extreme temperatures and cyclones common to this area of WA.