Done without proper care, resource extraction can be one of the biggest contributors to environmental degradation. When mining companies take steps to improve sustainability at their sites, it’s an effort we should all applaud and support. That’s why Empire Renewable Energy was so proud to be selected to join four other area businesses to investigate the use of solar technology at the Rosemont Mine, located just south of Tucson, Arizona.
The contract, worth $100,000, involves the construction of a series of 19.7 kW solar power systems, using polycrystalline silicon cells and single axis tracking to maintain optimum energy production. Empire was selected out of 35 applicants, in large part due to our expertise with large commercial installations. In the end, five test beds were installed, generating a total of 90 kW of power — the equivalent to the typical energy consumption of 30 family homes.
So far, the system has been used to power the site’s administrative operations, though the positive response to the project has the company investigating the possibility of expanding its reach.
When it’s fully operational, the Southern Arizona (Pima County) Rosemont mine hopes to extract 220 million pounds of copper a year. Rosemont Copper says it wanted to test solar power as an alternative to standard fossil fuels as a way to create a more sustainable footprint for its operations. In particular, the group wants to understand the performance of solar power in the challenging terrain and climate that mining poses.
Empire Renewable Energy is proud to be a partner in this important and groundbreaking work, which demonstrates the value solar energy can have to businesses in all industries.