U.S. Govt Earmarks $450 Million For Clean Energy Projects On Mine Lands

U.S. Govt Earmarks $450 Million For Clean Energy Projects On Mine Lands - Carbon Herald
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced it will allocate up to $450 million under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to clean energy demonstration projects developed on current and former mine lands.

The funds will be provided through the Clean Energy Demonstration Program on Current and Former Mine Land, managed by DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), as part of the Investing in America agenda of the Biden-Harris Administration.

The new program, which builds on the more than $14 billion whole-of-government effort by the government’s Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities, is aimed at strengthening rural economies, creating new, good-paying jobs, and reducing harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that pose a risk to public health and pollute local ecosystems.

The U.S. has some 17,750 mine land sites covering a total of 1.5 million acres, which lead to air, land, and water contamination in the surrounding areas. If this land is to be repurposed for clean energy projects, up to 90 GW of clean energy, enough to power nearly 30 million American homes, could be generated, according to DOE’s projections.

Relevant: DOE $20M Funding To Ease Regional Development Of Carbon Capture Projects

Eligible technologies include solar, microgrids, geothermal, direct air capture, energy storage, advanced nuclear technologies, and fossil-fueled electricity generation with carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration.

The program will fund up to five projects in diverse geographical regions, at least two of which must use solar technology. Each project will receive between $10 million and $150 million, corresponding to up to 50% of the total cost.

Projects must be well designed and financially viable, with capacity to be deployed quickly, and directly benefitting former coal and manufacturing communities, DOE said. Projects involving community members as partners and/or equity co-owners will be prioritized.

Separately, OCED will provide technical assistance free of charge in relation to the development of clean energy projects on mine lands.

DOE will accept concept papers by May 11, 2023, with full applications due by August 31, 2023.

Read more: Biden-Harris Administration To Spend $3.7 Billion On Carbon Removal Technologies

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