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KARL FRANZEN   

Coal mine sees the sunny side

One of the icons which helped bring coal power the world is adapting to the shift towards greener thinking.

The Big Pit (named in typically understated British fashion, which would baulk at a Super Pit) is a national coal museum in Wales, famed for its long mining history.

With buildings dating back to the 1870s and a shaft which offers visitors to the museum the chance to go deep underground, the Big Pit is a celebration of the coal industry - which makes its decision to go solar all the more deliciously ironic.

Around 200 solar panels are being installed at the museum, which may not meet the demands of electricity needed to run the place but are a big reminder of the way that things are going.

A newspaper report in the UK said some of the more traditional miners who once worked down the pit are a little perturbed at the decision but some are more pragmatic.

“Coal is such an important part of Wales's heritage, and yet green energy will play a major part in its future. A solar-powered coal mining museum is a fantastic way to celebrate this national journey,” Big Pit museum manager Peter Walker told The Guardian newspaper.

“But there is also a practical side to it. It's far from just symbolic – the museum will benefit from huge reductions in energy bills.”

 



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