From Green Right Now Reports
Coal. King Coal. It’s the single most dominant energy source powering electricity grids, from the US to Great Britain to China to Australia. Because it’s plentiful. Cheaper. Politically-connected. Easy.
And yet, in a drizzly (good bet, that) hamlet in Wales, a historic, perhaps symbolic switcheroo has taken place. The Wales’ National Coal Mining Museum in Big Pit, Blaenavon, Nr Abergavenny in south Wales, has adopted solar power.
The operators decided that installing solar panels on the museum’s roof was just too good of a deal to pass up. The 200 photovoltaic panels on the museum roof cost £70,000 to install and are expected to save the museum some £400,000 pounds over the next 25 years.
In addition, surplus solar energy will be sold back to the UK National Grid, producing income for the museum, which has hosted 3 million visitors since its inception in 1983 after the Big Pit mine had closed. Big Pit employed hundreds of miners at any given time during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Alas, it’s time to look to the future, says curator Peter Walker.
“Coal is such an important part of Wales’ heritage and yet green energy will play a major part in its future,” Walker told Renewable Energy World.
“A solar powered coal-mining museum is a fantastic way to celebrate this national journey. But it’s far from just symbolic — the museum will benefit from huge reductions in energy bills and a solid return from the feed-in tariff [selling back to the grid].”