Developer plans 175 MW solar project on former coal mine


Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) said it plans to build and operate a 175 MW solar farm on a former coal mine in Maryland.

Located in the Old Line State’s westernmost county, the Vindex/Arch Coal mining site closed recently after decades of operation. CPV said the proposed Backbone Solar Farm project would be on about 1,100 acres and produce enough solar energy to power around 30,000 average Maryland homes.

CPV has been conducting environmental, geotechnical, electrical, and engineering studies on the property since early 2020. The developer said it plans to file an application with state utility regulators for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to build the project.

If approved, the project is expected to break ground in early 2022 and go online in mid-2023.

In mid-March, local county officials approved a resolution supporting the project. Other elected officials and local groups have also backed the plans.

CPV said the project would help Maryland meet its clean energy targets of 14.5% solar energy by 2028 and 50% renewable energy by 2030. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the state currently gets about 4.23% of its electricity from solar and has almost 1.3 GW of installed capacity.

(Read our recent coverage of SEIA’s 2020 solar industry report.)

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