Are Solar or Wind Farms Feasible Over Mined-Out Areas?

There are vast areas of undeveloped land which exist over underground abandoned coal mining that can be potentially used for wind or solar farms. These land use areas can be economically feasible for these purposes even when accounting for any future land subsidence resulting from mine collapse. This feasibility depends on how much damage could occur. The economics of subsidence damage depends on the number of events which would result over the lifespan of the farm and the associated level of damage (e.g., repairable/unrepairable) and the aerial extent of that level of  damage to the farm which would result. Therefore important elements of the economic feasibility of the farm against mine subsidence are:
  • The resistance of the mine structure to collapse across the project site. (i.e., more resistant leads to less events).
  • Severity and extent of the surface subsidence across the project site.
  • The damage thresholds of the farm infrastructure to those subsidence movements.
  • The extent and intensity of the damaged farm areas across the project site.
Moreover, based on the site specific conditions, the economics can be improved through Kaizen analysis and mitigation measures taken to reduce the expected level of damage. For more information contact

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