Some coal-powered plants in the US are getting the opportunity to save their goodwill by coming back up as solar farms.
The New York Times reported yesterday that at least nine coal-burning plants should become solar farms or battery storage facilities in the next three years in Illinois alone. Similar plans are in line for seven more states in a similar time frame. The old plants are ideal for this because they’re already part of the country’s existing infrastructure, and they have substations that convert electricity into the kind of power US households consume.
“A silver lining of having had all of these dirty power plants is that now, we have fairly robust transmission lines in those places,” Jack Darin, Illinois Sierra Club chapter director, told the Times. “That’s a huge asset.”
This could also address the power shortage that is being experienced widely.
Earlier this week, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida asked his government to turn on as many as nine nuclear reactors to get citizens through a cold winter. Japan and countries in Europe are cutting down energy imports from Russia, and in the US, Texas has been struggling to provide the power that keeps residents’ air conditioners on during 100-degree Fahrenheit heat waves.
This solution seems like a beacon of hope for the US.