The renewable energy firm, Savion, is building a 200-megawatt solar installation on a former coal mine on the border of Kentucky and West Virginia. When completed, it will be the largest solar project in Kentucky.
The Martin County Solar Project will stretch across 1,200 acres of the Martiki coal mine, an abandoned mountaintop strip mine. When completed, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 33,000 homes.
Construction will kick off next year, and the solar array will go online by early 2024. Most of the workers on the project are expected to be former coal miners, PV Magazine reported.
“This country owes a tremendous debt to the people and communities that powered the industrial development of America for a century: our miners and coal communities,” said Adam Edelen, founder and CEO of Edelen Renewables, a partner in the project. “The Martin County coal-to-solar project is an effort to bring the opportunities of a newer, greener economy to the coalfields.”
In 2017, the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum made national news when it decided to cut its power bill by installing rooftop solar panels. Now, solar is taking off in the state. While Kentucky has just 68 megawatts of solar power installed currently, more than 800 megawatts are in the pipeline.