First Solar, the largest US-owned solar panel manufacturer, today announced that it’s going to provide 260 megawatts (MW)DC of Ohio-made solar modules to Nevada Gold Mines, the single largest gold-producing complex in the world.

Nevada Gold Mines is operated by Barrick Gold Corporation and is a joint venture between Barrick (61.5%) and Newmont (38.5%) that combined their significant assets across Nevada in 2019.

The company will invest in building a 200 MW solar farm, which will be deployed in the second quarter of 2023, as part of a broader effort to reduce its emissions. The completed solar farm will be able to power 17% of the gold-producing operation.

Barrick has committed to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030, with the goal of net-zero operations by 2050. Nevada Gold Mines will support Barrick’s targets and has set an intermediate goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2025, compared to its 2018 baseline.

Nevada Gold Mines says it expects to achieve its goals with the solar farm and the conversion of its “coal-fired power plant to cleaner burning natural gas.” (Editor’s note: Natural gas is never clean. Nevada Gold Mines, take note, and figure out another way.)

In June 2021, Wood Mackenzie reported on gold mining emissions reduction progress:

For the purpose of our analysis, we looked at 339 large-scale gold mines, or 60% of total gold supply.

[G]old miners look broadly on track to align with the 2C climate target – which limits the rise in global temperatures since pre-industrial times to 2C by the end of this century. However, more action is required if the industry is to meet the 1.5C climate target, let alone surpass it.

In June 2021, Electrek reported that First Solar announced the opening of a third manufacturing plant in Ohio in the first half of 2023.

Read more: Largest US solar manufacturer to double its production with a new factory

Photo: Nevada Gold Mines


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About the Author

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.