“This undertaking is a big win for Southwest Virginia’s financial system,” mentioned Ed Baine, president of Dominion Vitality Virginia. “It’s additionally one other main step towards constructing a 100% clear power financial system in Virginia.”
Baine known as this “a groundbreaking mannequin” for use floor mine websites, which he mentioned are well-suited for photo voltaic power tasks.
The information comes two months after The Nature Conservancy introduced an analogous effort to assemble photo voltaic panels on former mined lands with Charlottesville-based Solar Tribe and Washington, D.C.-based Sol Techniques.
Taking the three efforts collectively, the utility-scale photo voltaic tasks inside The Nature Conservancy’s Cumberland Forest Challenge will cowl practically 1,700 acres and generate an estimated 120 megawatts of photo voltaic power, mentioned Kelley Galownia, a spokeswoman for the company in Richmond.
“Southwest Virginia and the broader Central Appalachian coalfields have an necessary function to play within the renewable power financial system,” mentioned Kreps. “A number of the area’s former mined lands are properly fitted to photo voltaic improvement, and by directing improvement in the direction of these areas, it’s going to assist us preserve the area’s intact forests for wooden merchandise, carbon storage, wildlife habitats, out of doors recreation and tourism,” Kreps mentioned.
“By collaborating with Dominion Vitality and different firms on these preliminary tasks, we hope to develop a mannequin that may be replicated in different coal mining areas,” Kreps mentioned.