Imperium Energy LLC, an energy development firm, has offered the owners of a decommissioned phosphate ore mine in Florida 580% of the original price of their land in order to develop a renewable energy park on the site. After the old mining land was purchased by a group of people in the mid 2000’s as an investment, the group tried unsuccessfully to resell the land as a building site for new homes. It seems they’ve hit the jackpot and could help this land, once devastated by society’s need for phosphate ore, become a beacon for the renewable energy future.

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The owners were unable to resell the land because of the housing market crash, the toxins caused by past mining and the steep cliffs and uneven soil produced by mining practices. It turns out that housing setbacks are no problem for a renewable energy future. The county government has already approved plans for the energy park and Imperium hopes to have the $580 million project up and running in 2013. The project will eventually include waste to gas energy generation, a solar park, aquaculture systems and hydroponic agriculture and will create at least 1,000 jobs.

Though recent research in Germany has shown that old mines can rehabilitate themselves, often the mining practices leave dangerous toxins behind that aren’t cleaned up. With society’s great need for minerals that come from deep within the Earth, we’ve got a lot of empty seemingly unusable land lying about. A lot of people are worried about renewable energy parks “marring” their local landscape — like those in Texas — so, maybe we should persuade more energy companies to use already marred landscapes for their new energy projects.


Many old mines just like this one are sitting fallow with no one willing to buy them due to the bad economy, toxins and unfertile soil. If other energy companies can follow Imperium’s lead, land like this can be used for the greater good to create clean power and since the owners are able to sell the land, it’s a win win for everyone.

Via Tampa Bay Online