- US DOE has launched an RFI to seek stakeholder views on using current or former mines for clean energy demonstration projects
- Among clean energy technologies being considered for the job, solar gets to have presence in 2 of the 5 planned projects
- DOE also wants to explore the possibility to use domestically manufactured solar PV technology for such projects
- These demonstration projects will be a cue for the government to consider replicating the model across the country
The US government is seeking public input via a request for information (RFI) for its plans deploy clean energy demonstration projects, including solar power, on current or former mining lands with $500 million funding, as part of its Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Launched through the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, the Clean Energy Demonstrations on Current and Former Mine Land Program will support projects that revitalize mine land by generating clean, affordable energy for local communities.
According to the DOE 2 of the 5 clean energy projects planned to be funded under the program on mine land must use solar energy, and through the RFP, it is also seeking information about opportunities to use domestically manufactured solar technology for the same.
Apart from solar, the program is open to other clean energy technologies as
- geothermal energy
- direct air capture
- fossil-fuel generation with carbon capture, utilization and sequestration
- energy storage including pumped-storage hydropower and compressed air, and
- advanced nuclear.
Through the RFP, the DOE will get information on how demonstration programs can be designed and implemented to mobilize private sector to create jobs thereby contribute to local economic development. The aim is to replicate innovative projects demonstrated under the program across the country.
Citing a factsheet from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DOE says if the US redevelops all of 17,750 mine land sites across 1.5 million acres with clean energy, it could lead to the deployment of up to 89 GW total capacity.
The department expects to announce a funding opportunity to solicit project proposals in 2023.
Last date to submit responses is August 15, 2022. Details of the RFP are available on the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations Funding Opportunity Exchange website under FOA number DE-FOA-0002811.