Nevada Copper Corp. announced an update on the potential to develop solar energy generation at its 100-percent owned Pumpkin Hollow Copper Development Property.
Nevada Copper Corp. announced an update on the potential to develop solar energy generation at its 100-percent owned Pumpkin Hollow Copper Development Property. On May 23, 2016, the Yerington City Council unanimously approved zoning for the majority of Nevada Copper Lands in a newly created industrial district, M-2 — Special Industrial District. This new zoning designation includes not only mining, which was previously allowed, but also explicitly allows for solar energy generation and energy storage.
For the proposed copper mining operation, a solar development at Pumpkin Hollow provides substantial direct benefits in lowered or shared electrical infrastructure costs, according to the company.
Tim Dyhr, vice president, Environment and External Relations said, “The zoning assures that Nevada Copper can move forward with both a mine and solar energy generation and storage development at the project as soon as funding is available. The company continues to engage a number of entities, including active discussions with NV Energy, to determine the best path forward for coordinated mine development including solar energy generation, transmission and onsite energy storage.”
The company has completed the previously-announced study with NV Energy, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, to examine solar energy generation at Pumpkin Hollow in conjunction with its proposed project. The study has shown that Pumpkin Hollow has immediate solar potential on the project lands that can be further expanded in the future.
As a result of the positive outcome of the study, Nevada Copper and NV Energy are discussing a strategic alliance to develop both near-term development and long-term expansion of solar opportunities in the future.
The following are key developments:
• The study has identified approximately 800-900 acres of land with high solar irradiation (6.5-7.0 kW-hr/square meter/day) and 100-120 mW of solar generation capacity that are immediately available and ideally suited for solar generation facilities.
• There are ideal slopes, soil, geotechnical, surface hydrology and constructability conditions for installation of solar arrays in these areas.
• The M-2 zoning designation explicitly includes both the mining uses contemplated at Pumpkin Hollow and also permits “commercial solar energy conversion systems and energy storage systems.”
• There are an additional 1,000 acres zoned M-2 that can be developed for solar energy generation in the future, that represents an additional ~150 mW of solar generation capacity and a long term total of ~250 mW.
• Upon completion of mining an additional 500-1,000 acres of mine facilities could be converted to solar generation.
• Solar generation could provide power to the grid, augment power supply to the mine and offset potential peak demand charges.
• The company can co-develop electrical distribution and transmission infrastructure to lower and share capital costs between the mine and solar generation, adding value to both the mine and solar projects.
“There are often significant barriers to solar development by land use and environmental constraints here in the western U.S. Pumpkin Hollow has none,” Dyhr added. “To have a site with at least 100 mW of potential and future for 200-250 mW of generation capacity is an exceptional opportunity.”
The company continues to have discussions with a number of companies that may be interested in a full range of solar and energy development opportunities at Pumpkin Hollow, including solar energy generation, energy storage, power management and onsite industrial uses linked to solar power generation.
Pumpkin Hollow Project
The Pumpkin Hollow copper development is located entirely on private land close to infrastructure with all required power and water supplies secured. With the project entirely on private land, all required Nevada permits for construction and mine operations are in hand (no federal permits are required). With many analysts forecasting improving copper markets over the next few years, the company's Pumpkin Hollow Copper Project represents an attractive, “shovel-ready”, fully-permitted copper project located in an ideal mine-friendly location, according to the company.