Coal Fields to Solar Fields: The Nature Conservancy to Present at Fall Review

By Susan Rosenblum

Eriks Brolis, Director of Nature & Economy Programs for The Nature Conservancy (“TNC”), will present on TNC’s Solar on Mine Lands Initiative at the Highlands Conservancy Fall Review, October 14-16, 2022 at North Bend State Park. 

In an article on TNC’s website: ”Mining the Sun: How Nevada and West Virginia are Reclaiming Former Mine Lands with Solar Panels,” TNC reports that it has been estimated by Downstream Strategies that West Virginia has over 100,000 acres of former mine lands and other brownfields which may be suitable for solar development.  TNC is working with state policy makers, landowners, mining companies, solar power companies, such as Sun Tribe, and large industrial electricity users and companies, such as Dominion Energy, to promote solar friendly legislation and assess cleared mine lands for solar development in West Virginia and Central Appalachia.  The goal is to provide clean domestic energy and economic benefits to local and national communities.  

TNC further states that “Many of these sites have existing road infrastructure, existing power lines and are relatively close to major markets hungry for energy.” “And by steering solar development to former mine lands and brownfields, we steer development away from forests and sustain the values they offer to West Virginia: clean water, wildlife, and carbon storage that supports the forestry, outdoor recreation, and tourism sectors. Siting solar on these sites is a win for nature, a win for our economy, and a win for the climate.”  

Come attend the Fall Review to learn more from Eriks Brolis about TNC’s Solar on Mine Lands Initiative.