US DOE announces funding for clean energy projects on mine land

US DOE announces funding for clean energy projects on mine land U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC, U.S. (source: Wikimedia)
Carlo Cariaga 30 Jun 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking public input on how underserved communities can be served by a program that aims to develop clean energy in mining sites.

The Biden Administration through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a Request For Information (RFI) to inform a USD 500 million program funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to place clean energy demonstration projects on current or former mine lands across America.

Operated through DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, the Clean Energy Demonstrations on Current and Former Mine Land Program will fund clean energy projects – such as geothermal energy – on mine land to benefit communities and their economies, create good-paying jobs and reduce carbon pollution.

The DOE is seeking feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including industry, community organizations, environmental justice organizations labor unions, and state and local governments. Public input is sought on how to design the program such that it will best encourage private-sector investment in similar projects leading to economic development for underserved communities located near current and former mine land while advancing environmental justice. Feedback to this RFI can be submitted on OCED Exchange.

The revitalization of mine land to deploy cheaper, cleaner power to more Americans will further the objective of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities which seeks to deliver federal investment to revitalize hard-hit energy communities. It will also advance the Justice40 Initiative which aims to deliver 40% of the benefits of clean energy and climate investments to disadvantaged communities.

“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “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.”

Located in geographically diverse regions across the U.S, mine land offers an important opportunity to spur economic development and create jobs in clean energy industries. A recent EPA analysis found approximately 17,750 mine land sites located across 1.5 million acres in the United States. If all of these current or former U.S. mine land were to be redeveloped with clean energy projects, up to 89 gigawatts of clean electricity could be deployed, enough to power millions of American homes.

Geothermal energy is included in the list of clean energy technologies that can be demonstrated on mining sites from this project. The Clean Energy Demonstration Program on Current and Former Mine Land aims to support innovative mine land conversion and replicate such projects across the country.

The extraction of geothermal waters from mine sites is being explored globally. In Bochum, Germany, drilling of a well targeting hot water from an abandoned mine was completed earlier this year. A similar project is being pursued in Sunderland, UK and in the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy