Open-cast coal mine for coast of Northern England
Politicians in England’s northernmost county have approved plans for an open-cast coal mine — much to the disapproval of environmentalists.
Northumberland County Council voted in favour of a proposal by Banks Mining for a three million tonne surface mine for coal, sandstone and fire clay at Highthorn, near the village of Widdrington.
Approval for the mine comes despite a pledge by the national government to phase out coal power stations by 2025. Opponents say that the mine’s proximity to designated heritage coastline will be a blight on the landscape, damage the local environment and potentially impact a proposed marine conservation zone.
Banks wants to operate the mine for seven years from an area of 250 hectares at Druridge Bay. The company has said that the mine will create at least 100 full-time jobs, 50 of which would be new and 50 moved from other sites. An estimated £1.5 million will be raised through business rates and £48 million spent on local suppliers.
Council Leader Grant Davey told the Hartlepool Mail: "I fully accept this has been a long and difficult process, with strong feelings on both sides, but I do believe this decision is in the best interests of Northumberland and its residents.”
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas called the decision “short-sighted” in a statement: "Over 10,000 objections have been lodged against the mine which has huge implications for local tourism and wildlife - including otters, dolphins and pink-footed geese.
"Coal is a dirty, polluting energy source and has no role to play in a modern, zero-carbon economy,” she said.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.