TransAlta plans massive solar project on former coal mine in Washington

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The 21st century has seen renewable energy generation boom as coal declines. However, it is rare that actual land that coal infrastructure occupied is covered by wind or solar.

It is rare, but it does happen. In central Washington, Canadian power giant TransAlta is currently planning a solar project up to 180 MW in capacity to cover a former coal mine which it owns.

The project, which would be the largest in the state, was presented by TransAlta at Centralia College. According to project documents published by local publication The Chronicle, TransAlta is looking to start building the the Tono Solar project next year and to complete it by the fourth quarter of 2020, but the company is still pulling permits and does not yet have a buyer for power.

TransAlta has a large wind portfolio in Canada and Wyoming. If built this will be its second solar project, following a five-site, 21 MW solar project which it owns in Massachusetts.