Energy and Mines


Coal company plans huge solar farm on strip mine

Coal company plans huge solar farm on strip mine
May 01
10:33 2017

A former mountaintop removal site in Pike County, Kentucky being studied for what could be the state’s largest solar farm. (Photo: Berkeley Energy Group)

An eastern Kentucky coal company is spearheading what may be the largest solar farm project in Appalachia. The array will be built on a reclaimed strip mining site near Pikeville, bringing more jobs back to the area.

The farm is a joint project of The Berkeley Energy Group and EDF Renewable Energy. At 50 to 100 megawatts, it will be five to ten times bigger than LG&E and KU Energy’s 10-megawatt solar farm in Mercer County. The power the site generates will go to an electricity grid serving Eastern states.

“A project of this magnitude has never been proposed in Appalachia,” said Doug Copeland, EDF development manager. “Doing so will require every bit of innovation, experience, and skill we’ve developed,” he said. “Everyone in our company, from our executive team to our site engineers, is committed to doing all we can to generate jobs and income to this region.”

The project is still in its early stages. While engineering and feasibility studies are currently underway at two different sites in the area, the companies do not have an estimate for the number of jobs it will create at this time.

Read the full article in the Courier-Journal.

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Kate Dougherty

Kate Dougherty