An out of use tin mine in the south west of England is on its way to becoming a hotspot for renewable energy. Earlier today, more than 5,600 solar panels on the site were fired up by Solarcentury and UK-based solar developer Lightsource Renewable Energy. The new 1.4MW solar power plant will generate enough electricity to power more than 400 homes, and it is just one of many green energy developments planned for the site. The ultimate goal is to turn the abandoned mine, located at the historic Wheal Jane site in Cornwall, into the UK’s first earth science park to use renewable energy from solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal sources.
The new power plant covers a 7.2 acre plot of land, and it is one of the largest solar farms in the UK. Solarcentury designed and constructed the entire plant in less than two months, and local workers were employed to prepare the site and construct the building. Plans for the entire 60,000 sq. ft. site’s transformation into a sustainable business park are currently underway. (You can find details about all of the site’s renewable energy projects here.)
“To see a tin mine diversify into producing 21st century clean solar energy, provides an optimistic glimpse of where we’re now heading for our energy production,” said Derry Newman, CEO of Solarcentury. “Wheal Jane’s solar farm demonstrates that solar technology can contribute to our clean energy future, and quickly.”
Several other large solar arrays are underway and will be connected to the grid by the end of the month. A review by the UK government put a stop to funding for solar projects, making it unlikely that many more large scale plants will be started any time soon. This means that the solar plants being built this summer will play a critical role in the UK’s green energy production.