US Moves Forward On Clean Energy Projects On Mine Land

DOE Shortlists Projects On Current & Former Mine Land For Up To $475 Million Government Funding

US Moves Forward On Clean Energy Projects On Mine Land

Nevada Gold Mines plans to deploy solar and storage systems for its 3 operational gold mines in Nevada. (Photo Credit: Barrick)

  • The DOE has announced 5 projects that have been selected for its up to $475 million funding 
  • These clean energy facilities are proposed to be located on current and former mine land 
  • Solar is part of 3 shortlisted projects, while the other 2 relate to geothermal+storage, and coal-to-pumped storage hydropower 

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has shortlisted 5 projects to advance clean energy facilities on current and former mine land to award up to $475 million in funding. Of these, 3 projects comprise new solar projects. Selected projects will enter award negotiations with the department.  

Nevada Gold Mines (NGM), a joint venture between Barrick and Newmont, seeks to develop a solar and battery energy storage system (BESS) at its 3 operational gold mines in Nevada’s Elko, Humboldt and Eureka Counties. 

The Decarbonizing Gold Mines project of NGM aims for the solar and BESS systems to displace self-generation or grid purchase from fossil fuels. The move is estimated to help NGM lower its mining operations emissions by 3.5 million tons of CO2 over the proposed lifetime of the project. 

The 2nd shortlisted project Mineral basin: Coal-to-Solar is proposed by Mineral Basin Solar Power. It targets to repurpose almost 2,700 acres of former coal mining land in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania to host the ‘largest’ solar project in the state. The 402 MW solar facility will fill a critical electricity-generation gap following the closure of the Homer City coal plant, according to the DOE. 

A subsidiary of Swift Current Energy, Mineral Basin Solar Power says this project will serve as a demonstration for future mine land-to-solar projects in the Appalachian region. 

Shell-backed Savion’s Nicholas County Solar Project has been selected for its A Model for Transition: Coal-to-Solar project in West Virginia. The 250 MW utility-scale PV project is proposed at 2 former coal mines in Nicholas County. 

The remaining 2 projects comprise a geothermal with BESS project at 2 active copper mines in Southeast Arizona, and a coal-to-pumped storage hydropower project in Kentucky. Details about the shortlisted projects are available on DOE’s website. 

The DOE says up to $475 million of funding will be shelled out from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for these projects. These will also support the government’s Justice40 initiative that aims to benefit disadvantaged communities with federal programs. The selected projects are expected to create over 3,000 good-paying construction and operations jobs, it adds. 

According to the DOE, “The projects are expected to expand local and regional workforce partnerships and generate local tax revenues, supporting essential public services and spurring new economic opportunities in communities that have helped power the nation for generations.” 

The Biden administration estimates a potential of up to 90 GW clean energy capacity generation on some 17,750 mine land sites located the country. The department has selected these 5 projects under a competitive funding round opened in April 2023 (see US Wants Clean Energy On Mine Lands). 

To achieve a decarbonized grid target of 2035, the government is also opening public land under the Bureau of Land Management to install large-scale solar PV capacity (see BLM Updates Western Solar Plan To Make Way For More). 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Senior News Editor: Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. --Email : [email protected] --

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