As we have seen before, the usefulness and decreasing price point of solar PV energy is pushing it to new markets and new potentials. One surprising market to many of us is the mining industry, which has found beneficial uses for solar and wind energy, including saving money and increasing its remote operations potential.
A recent NBC News report noted that abandoned or unused mining areas are some of the best candidates for solar and renewable projects. A growing number of projects are cost-effectively placing solar panels on what would otherwise be undesirable land.
New mining operations are also seeing a great use for solar PV technology. Off-grid and remote sites are reliant on expensive diesel fuels for generators, as well as on utility companies that can have a controlling and unfair advantage over them. Adding a solar array can offset the price of fuels and provide a steady fuel supply, as well as regain security, reliability, and control over the utilities and their energy supply. Highly remote and inaccessible mining operations can find great advantages in the universal availability of solar.
We highlighted in a previous PV Solar Report article that electricity usage is predicted to gain substantially in the mining industry. The continuing reduction in the cost of solar energy will undoubtedly fuel new projects that will be beneficial not just for the mining companies, but for the future of how we treat energy in industrial applications.