The Nature Conservancy is planning to transform six abandoned coal mines in south-west Virginia into ‘solar hubs’, according to the Washington Post. Once completed, they will be able to provide suffice amounts of energy to the electric grid.
Across the region, there are several hundreds of square miles of previously cleared mine lands, over 100,000 acres, according to an analysis by Downstream Strategies. And that’s in only the west of Virginia. Many locations in the state of Nevada are also prime candidates for future solar expansion, with over a million acres of minefields and brownfield sites ripe for the picking.
The organisation hopes there can be further nationwide expansion in the future in addition to the six coal mines they already own. Many of the mines in the area also have existing road and power-line infrastructure, making many of them suitable candidates for further solar expansion in the future.
Daniel Kestner, from the Virginia Department of Energy, is hopeful that the solar projects will bring new jobs to the area alongside tax revenue, a win-win for both citizens in the area and green energy expansion.