The site of a former coal mine in Great Britain will be equipped with a solar park and battery storage
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A coal mine that has been converted into a waste disposal facility in North East England is to be retrofitted using a range of sustainable technologies and design features. Those involved in the project hope that thanks to the changes, over 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide can be saved annually.
The £ 8.3 million (US $ 11.37 million) project to upgrade the Morrison Busty depot in County Durham will focus on building a 3 megawatt solar farm that will power the site’s operations .
In addition, charging stations for electric vehicles will be integrated into the design of the development and a battery storage system will be built.
Natural gas heating will be replaced by air source heat pumps – devices that, as the Energy Saving Trust puts it, “absorb heat from the air” – while office buildings will benefit from new windows and doors, as well as LED lighting, among other things.
Once the budget has been broken down, it will be £ 5 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £ 3.3 million from Durham County Council’s Invest to Save fund.
In a statement released Tuesday, Carl Marshall, cabinet member for the Economic Generation Council, said the project was “a national showcase of how a depot can be remodeled to significantly reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.”
The Annfield Plain village depot dates back to the 1920s when it was known as the Morrison Busty Colliery. The coal mine was closed in 1973.
Today the site is home to equipment stores and is home to fleet vehicles for services such as household waste collection, street lighting, and road maintenance. Among other things, there is a recycling center for household waste and a nursery for horticulture.
The UK has had a long relationship with coal mining, but the decline of the industry has hit many communities hard and is an emotional issue.
Recently, plans for a new coal mine in Cumbria, north-west England have sparked much debate, not least because the UK will host the COP26 climate summit later this year. The fate of the project has yet to be determined.
And when it comes to generating electricity from coal, change is also underway. A consultation on “phasing out unabated coal burning” in 2024 instead of 2025 ended on February 26 with a government response to be made public “in due course”.
On Monday, EDF announced the closure of West Burton A power station – a coal-fired power plant in Nottinghamshire, England – in September 2022.
According to the company, West Burton A can produce enough electricity for around 3.7 million households and employed 750 people in its heyday. Today around 170 people are employed.