Solar panels are being installed across the UK Coal Authority’s estate of 75 mine water treatment sites.

The authority has appointed HBS New Energies, Campbell & Kennedy and Forrest to install and operate the solar panels under a four-year renewable energy framework.

HBS New Energies’ works at Chester South Moor (74KW), Deerplay (250KW) and Old Meadows (60KW) are nearing completion.

They are expected to generate a total of more than 317,000kWh of green electricity a year and cut 167 tonnes of carbon.

The renewable energy used will help offset the cost of pumping the mines’ water at their treatment sites, reducing the authority’s operational costs.

Record low for coal

Phil Broughton, Innovation Project Manager for the Coal Authority said: “It’s great to see the immediate benefit brought by the solar arrays in terms of low carbon sustainability and operational cost savings.”

Earlier this month it was revealed that coal extraction fell to a record low of one million tonnes during the opening quarter of the year.

> Read more about the coal authority