by John Lippman, Valley News
Appropriately enough, the midday sun was shining on a recent Friday in South Strafford, where a few dozen people had gathered at the periphery of the bowl-shaped Elizabeth Mine property. As they looked upon a sea of nearly 20,000 glistening black solar panels covering the now-abandoned mine, it was a gratifying moment.
Elizabeth Mine, whose excavations left a moonscape of waste rock and tailings that leached orange effluent into nearby streams, is a “brownfield” that has been transformed into a “greenfield” that will generate 5 megawatts of electricity — enough to power about 1,200 Vermont homes annually — for decades to come, according to its promoters.
Joined by contractors, government officials, business executives, project consultants and a smattering of curious town residents, Dori Wolfe, an energy consultant and Strafford resident who championed the $18 million solar project, stood in front of the crowd and extolled the mine site’s rebirth.
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