MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. – A proposed solar power farm in Martin County could bring much needed jobs and training to this small, once bustling county.
“We know there is a tremendous amount of potential in this part of Kentucky for solar energy systems,” said Erich Miarka, a senior developer for Savion.
Edelen Renewables says the farm will help transform Martin County from “coal-to-solar.” He did not say exactly where the farm will be located although it will be on abandoned strip mined land which Martin County has plenty of.
Martin County judge/executive Bill Bo Davis could not be reached for comment this morning but is expected to release a statement today.
The company, based in Lexington says in its statement says it is ‘a founding mission of bringing the promise of renewable energy to the forgotten places, Edelen Renewables is the only solar development firm in America with a sole focus on socially impactful projects that provide the triple-bottom line return of meeting the climate challenge, driving economic transition in forgotten communities, and producing savings for our off-takers.
Edelen is associated with a similar project in Pike County that would supposedly provide electricity for the entire Big Sandy region in a similar fashion on strip mined properties. That project has never come to reality and the reason has been given by insiders is red tape on the taxes owed on the strip mined lands.
Nearly 1,800 acres of a reclaimed mine will be developed to create the solar power farm in Martin County, the company says.
“This will include half a million to 700,000 solar panels, but the great part of the story is all the local folks who are going to get hired,” said Adam Edelen of Edelen Renewables.” When construction begins in 2022, it will bring nearly 300 jobs to the area, WSAZ reported this morning.
“When they [workers] leave this employment after 12 to 18 months, they will have earned a certificate signifying they are skilled to do this kind of work,” Edelen said.
According to the report the Martin County Fiscal Court approved up to a $300 million industrial bond for the company to pay for the project.
“We’re going to pay over $300,000 dollars a year for 30 years to Martin County with no depreciation,” Edelen said. “This means what you get is a major investment in infrastructure, an amazing employment opportunity particularly in the construction phase, and we’re creating a lot of revenue for this county.” WSAZ reported.
…from Edelen’s website…
“A people-focused vision. Creativity. Grit. These are the hallmarks of the approach we bring to the historic work we do. From bringing coal companies together with green energy advocates to develop reclaimed mine sites and create employment for displaced coalminers to assisting a homeless shelter become the first in America to “go-solar” without public subsidy, we create win/wins for every stakeholder.
We’ve partnered with several of the largest national developers of utility-scale projects and currently have a pipeline of ten projects in four states, representing more than 1GW and more than $1B in capital investment.
From land acquisition and facilitating public engagement to shepherding projects through regulatory processes to securing corporate off-take agreements (VPPA), Edelen Renewables’ “boots-on-ground” approach produces results.”
The solar power farm is expected to produce electricity commercially in 2023.
Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.
well it’s done the Dear Leader is not bringing the coal jobs back we have been conned by a con man
I’m curious how you make this work with the current electric provider? Obviously, you would be using their electrical grid and reaching their customers.
Although I don’t believe that climate change is anything other than a natural and re-occurring world event; I do see the value of solar and wind as a power source. The technology is not yet good enough for one strip-mine to power the entire the Big Sandy valley, but it could get to that as the years pass? The sun is a non ending source, and if it did end…well we wouldn’t have any worries at all. 🙂 I wish this project the best of luck.
i bet you still believe the earth is flat
great to see this coming to Eastern Kentucky! This is a great use of our natural renewable resources that can help supplement the power grid and provide Eco friendly jobs!
Don’t get rid of the coal mine because we need coal and oil