A $500 million (£413m) programme aimed at transforming current or former mine lands into new clean energy hubs has been launched.
The Clean Energy Demonstrations on Current and Former Mine Land Programme will support clean energy projects such as geothermal energy, solar, microgrids, direct air capture, energy storage, advanced nuclear and fossil fuel generation with carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).
Two of the clean energy demonstration projects funded under the programme must include solar energy and the Department of Energy (DOE) – whose Office of Clean energy Demonstrations will administer the programme – is seeking information about opportunities to use domestically-manufactured solar for these projects.
A recent analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found around 17,750 mine land sites located across 1.5 million acres in the US.
Located in geographically diverse regions across the country, the DOE believes mine land offers an important opportunity to spur economic development and create jobs in clean energy industries.
Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said: “Developing clean energy on mine lands is an opportunity for fossil fuel communities, which have powered our nation for a generation, to receive an economic boost and play a leadership role in our clean energy transition.
“The investments in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help America’s mining workforce apply their skills to grow and deploy cheaper, cleaner energy across the country.”