Virginia: Old coal mine designated for data centers in Wise County, Virginia

Aug 25, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

A former coal mine in Wise County will be converted into an industrial park with data centers thanks to a $1.7 million grant from Virginia Energy. The discarded mine at the Elam Farm site in Southern Virginia's Wise County will receive funding from the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) grant program of the Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy) to bring it up to par for small-scale manufacturing use, including data centers. The site was the location of a closed coal mine in 1975.

The proposed Elam Farm Industrial site is located within the Lonesome Pine Regional Business and Technology Park. The grant will fund an access road and infrastructure, including public water and sewer and natural gas lines. 

Redeveloping abandoned mines benefits local communities and addresses potential health and environmental concerns associated with the sites. Additionally, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority will fund this project. The IDA will solicit bids for the site by September 3, and responses and bid selection are anticipated by October. Construction could begin by November 15th.

Creating flat land will take time: the first phase will take approximately one year, and the second phase will involve earthwork to construct six building pads. The largest will accommodate a 400,000-square-foot building, compatible with Project Oasis, a pre-planned initiative for new data center sites.