Solar power farm bringing nearly 300 jobs to Martin County

Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 7:13 PM EST
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MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - Leaders hope a solar power farm coming to Martin County will help put displaced coal miners back to work.

“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.”

Nearly 1,800 acres of a reclaimed mine will be developed to create the solar power farm.

“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.

“It’s a transition from our traditional coal mining, but still uses a lot of similar skills,” said Steven Goble, Martin County deputy Judge-Executive.

“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.

Taxpayers can rest assured they won’t see a spike in their taxes to fund the project.

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.”

The solar power farm is expected to produce electricity commercially in 2023.

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