09 January 2018
The North American Closed Sites team has been working hard to find alternative land use for our legacy mine sites that can be both an environmental benefit and bring jobs and industry back to our local mining communities. In many cases, these communities have experienced declines in employment since the mines ceased production.
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has teamed up with our Closed Sites colleagues to look at turning these sites into independent solar or wind power plants and storage facilities, presenting the opportunity for a second useful life through renewable energy development.
Recently, the Closed Sites team has advanced some of these identified opportunities forward, with a site in Arizona and New Mexico now in design and/or permitting phases. The site in New Mexico has now signed both a lease and lease option with a solar and storage developer.
Marny Reakes, Head of Closed Sites, shares her enthusiasm for the team’s multi-purposed approach. “This is a key and exciting strategy for our team and portfolio of legacy mines—we don’t just rehabilitate these closed mine sites but also repurpose the land to the benefit of the environment and our communities."
The Closed Sites initiative is an example of BHP's action on climate and aligned with the company's global strategy to deploy low emission technology.
Recently, RMI published a story about the project to their RMI Outlet blog entitled “New Lives for Old Mines: A Method for Developing Renewable Energy at Closed Mine Sites”. Read the blog post to learn more.
RMI is an independent nonprofit that transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous and secure low-carbon future. The organization engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI’s Sunshine for Mines program, rapidly accelerates the installation of on-site renewable energy capacity, integrated into the power systems of on-and off-grid mines around the world.