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From the Abandoned Coal Mines to Solar Farms

From the Abandoned Coal Mines to Solar Farms

We all know how important the renewable energy revolution is. The main goal is to reduce harmful emissions to the environment. Renewable energy, unlike fossil fuels, is free and inexhaustible. The emissions associated with production of solar panels or wind turbines are offset once they are put into operation. So the goal should be to produce more solar power. For this, more solar surface is needed and the question is: Which locations are suitable?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Transforming Coal Mines

From 2019 the Cumberland Forest belonged to the Nature Conservancy. There are several abandoned coal mines in this forest in Virginia. Characteristic for them is that these areas are flat and exposed to sunlight. Another important advantage is their closeness to electrical transmission lines. That means that there is no need to build a new expensive infrastructure.

The Nature Conservancy is planning to turn six abandoned coal mines into solar farms. They will be the first utility scale solar farms in the region and hopefully become a model for the next nationwide projects. Brad Kreps, the Nature Conservancy’s Clinch Valley program director, says “[…] By collaborating with Dominion Energy and other companies on these initial projects, we hope to develop a model that can be replicated in other coal mining regions across the U.S.”

One of these mines offers 1,200 acres of surface that will be re-purpose and changed into a pv system producing 50 megawatts of solar energy. It is enough to power 12,500 homes! Such an investment will also provide jobs for local community and bring tax revenue.