Past Events

ReImagining Shuttered Coal Plants Summit

By October 5, 2023October 18th, 2023No Comments

Thursday, October 5th from 3-5 PM EST

Shuttered coal plants across Appalachia were once the main source of good jobs and the foundation for economic prosperity for many communities. Many are closed and more are being retired from service. Yet today there is new opportunity to turn them from liabilities into assets. New federal investment incentives position these blighted properties for redevelopment. Many of the new incentives require the community to have a strong voice in redevelopment planning. This event focused on the potential and challenges in creating sustainable development at the sites of former coal plants, and how communities can have a strong voice in redevelopment planning.

This listening session covered:

  • Opportunities and investment incentives
  • Challenges and barriers to sustainable redevelopment
  • The role of community stakeholders at the table: Community Benefit Planning
  • Redevelopment work already underway in Appalachia
  • Models of sustainable development from around the nation and the world


Our speakers included:


Amanda Woodrum

Co-Executive Director at ReImagine Appalachia


Sam Mardell

Manager, Carbon-Free Electricity at RMI


Wendy Patton

Assistant Professor at Kent State and Senior Researcher with ReImagine Appalachia


Dr. Briggs White

Deputy Director for the Interagency Working Group (IWG)


Jesse Roush

Executive Director, Southeastern Ohio Port Authority


Erifili Draklellis

Senior Associate, Carbon-Free Electricity at RMI


Jeremy Richardson

Manager, Carbon-Free Electricity at RMI


Matthew Popkin

Manager, US Program at RMI

Breakout Rooms

During this summit, participants could choose four of the following breakout rooms:

Climate-Friendly Manufacturing Opportunities for Shuttered Coal Plants

Facilitator: Sam Mardell, Manager, Carbon-Free Electricity at RMI

As we look to reimagine these sites, advocates need to consider a site’s “highest and best use” and look for climate friendly and sustainable development opportunities. 

See the notes here.

Engaging the community in visioning and planning for new opportunities

Facilitator: Erifili Draklellis, Senior Associate, Carbon-Free Electricity at RMI

These projects are particularly important to have a multi-stakeholder vision process. How can we make sure the community stakeholders have a voice in the process?

See the notes here.

Federal Funding Streams and the Role of Private Financing

Facilitator: Christian Fong and Kristine Chan-Lizardo at  RMI

What are the stages of redeveloping a coal plant, and what funding might help with those individual stages? How can we empower our region to gain more access to these funds? 

See the notes here.

Focus on Brownfield Fund and Coal Ash Pond Remediation

Facilitator: Matthew Popkin, Manager, US Program at RMI

Coal ash ponds are one of the biggest barriers to redevelopment of shuttered coal plants. With the right resources, however, these liabilities can be turned from liabilities into opportunities. 

See the notes here.