Reclaimed mining sites present a unique opportunity to repurpose the land for solar and storage development, harvesting another abundant natural resource to power America.
With over 8 million acres of land previously disturbed by surface mining across the U.S., our approach enables our solar+storage projects to replace retiring utility generation units with clean, reliable power, reduce the impact to the area’s best soils, and support coal communities by creating jobs and adding to the tax base.
Photovoltaic (PV) solar is America’s third largest source of renewable energy and growing. PV cells, typically made of silicon, are encapsulated from air and moisture between two layers of glass or plastic. Those cells are then connected to form solar panels.
Solar panels take the sunlight and absorb it, converting it to electricity. This absorbed sunlight is transformed into usable energy by way of an inverter. Using underground collection lines, that energy is then delivered to the power grid and transmitted to homes, businesses, and other end users.
Energy storage is a means to store and release energy within an electrical power grid. Battery energy storage systems – the most common and fastest-growing form of energy storage – typically use lithium-ion batteries to provide energy to the grid during periods of high energy demand.
Energy is stored during the day when there is an abundance of electricity being generated and consumed during peak hours when the demand is greatest. Advances in technology and materials, paired with economies of scale, have led to dramatically reduced costs associated with energy storage, and the storage facilities take up less than one percent of the project footprint.
Nearly 20 gigawatts of coal generation across 16 plants are expected to retire in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator portions of Illinois and Indiana by 2028. With over 8 million acres of former mining lands set to be no longer in use, we are capitalizing on these previously disturbed lands to site our initial eight projects while we work to expand our solar+storage project footprint across the country.