Coal Mining Museum Installs Solar Panels To Save on Energy Bill

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Dec. 18 2012 2:05 PM

Coal Mining Museum Installs Solar Panels To Save on Energy Bill

Big Pit National Coal Mining Museum
What better place for 200 photovoltaic panels?

Rafaël Delaedt / Wikimedia Commons

When a famous coal museum wanted to save some money on its electricity bill, it turned to the obvious power source. Yes, Wales' Big Pit National Coal Mining Museum has installed 200 solar panels on its roof.

The panels are expected to save the museum some $650,000 over the next 25 years, the trade magazine Renewable Energy World reported Monday. Not a bad deal for an up-front cost of about $115,000. "Coal is such an important part of Wales’ heritage, and yet green energy will play a major part in its future," the museum's manager told the magazine. "A solar powered coal-mining museum is a fantastic way to celebrate this national journey."

Advertisement

Big Pit shut down in 1980 and reopened three years later as "a living, breathing reminder of the coal industry in Wales and the people and society it created," according to the museum's website. UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site in 2000.

Philip Bump of the environmental blog Grist suggests that the United States could stand to turn some of its own coal mines into museums: "See how life used to be, kids, in the terrible times of yesteryear."

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 16 2014 6:00 AM Can of Worms Prudie offers advice to a letter writer who wants to blackmail a famous ex with tapes of his fetish.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.