$230 million solar energy project coming to Martin County
MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A new $230 million solar energy array is being constructed in Martin County.
The 2,500 acre plant, which is built on the old Martiki Coal Mine land by Edelen Renewables, will add 300 construction jobs and 11 permanent ones.
“This is about making sure the people who powered the industrial development of this country for 100 years have a place in a greener economy,” said Edelen Renewables Founder Adam Edelen. “This is about bringing a diverse set of opportunities to people who are willing to work for it.”
The state of Kentucky ranks last in the nation in terms of renewable energy production. With multiple other solar projects in the state in the works, Edelen hopes to change that.
Edelen says his company is focused on providing a greener economy to often forgotten areas of the state.
“We were welcomed with open arms by Martin Countians who want to have these kind of new modern economic developments and were bringing it to them,” he said.
Automaker Toyota has already agreed to pay to offload 100 megawatts of power from the plant.
Martin County Judge-Executive Dr. Lon Lafferty says coal careers have largely left the county, so investment like this is key to the their future.
“We all know that we face the risk of depopulation throughout Eastern Kentucky, and so we have to be creative and innovative to make sure that we are providing the atmosphere for economic development,” Lafferty said.
Lafferty is optimistic this project will signal to other companies that Martin County is prepared to handle large investments.
“The sun shines bright on our old Kentucky Home today and it certainly shines very brightly on reclaimed strip jobs, and that was the idea, I believe when they first looked at Eastern Kentucky for a solar project,” he said.
The array, which is being built in partnership with Savion, is expected to be operational by next year.
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