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Carlota Solar Project Receives USFS Permit

carlota panoramicOn February 23rd, 2016 the United States Forest Service (USFS) signed the Special Use Permit for the Carlota Copper Company's solar project.

Brightfields has been working with Carlota Copper Company, a subsidiary of KGHM, for almost two years to develop the first solar photovoltaic array located on USFS land. Located within the Tonto National Forest, the land is part of the public lands managed by the USFS. Until 2014, Carlota was an active open pit copper mine. Currently in the process of closing, the mine has taken measures to find a sustainable reuse for the land that will provide clean energy to the region. The proposed 10 MW array will be located on top of the 48-acre main rock stockpile, utilizing single-axis tracking technology to maximize solar energy production. Annually, the project is anticipated to produce approximately 25 million kilowatt-hours of energy, enough to power the equivalent of 2,371 homes. 

The Special Use Permit ensures that the project meets rigorous construction standards, that all potential impacts to natural resources are mitigated to the greatest extent possible and that it is consistent with Forest Plan management objectives. With the receipt of the Special Use Permit, all necessary permits and approvals are in place. Additionally, the project has applied for and received its precertification from the California Energy Commission, a critical step qualifying the project to sell its Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) into the California market once it is commercially operating. The project has also completed its System Impact Study and Facility Study with Salt River Project (SRP) the utility serving the site. 

This pioneering solar development reflects KGHM's commitment to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. Close collaboration with the USFS since inception of the project and engaging multiple stakeholder groups along the way has been crucial in the project's success. The project will provide economic, social and environmental benefits to the region. The project is in the final stages of development and will be construction ready mid-2016. Once complete, it will set a precedent for other closing mines with similar climate conditions and make a lasting impact in best sustainable practices in the mining industry.  

 

Read more about it here and here.

 

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