Old Martiki mine in Kentucky to be turned into a 200MW solar farm

Old Martiki mine in Kentucky to be turned into a 200MW solar farm.
Old Martiki mine in Kentucky to be turned into a 200MW solar farm. Credit: Savion

The renewable energy firm Savion is building the 200 megawatts Martin County Solar Project on a former coal mine on the border of Kentucky and West Virginia.

The solar energy generation facility will be located on approximately 1,200 acres on the old Martiki mine site in Martin County, interconnecting with Kentucky Power’s 138-kilovolt Inez Substation. The old Martiki coal mine is an abandoned mountain-top strip mine that was shut down in the 1990s. When completed, the project will produce enough energy to power the equivalent of more than 33,000 Kentucky homes.

The Martin County project that includes up to a $231 million investment recently cleared its last regulatory hurdle. It may be the biggest utility-scale coal-to-solar project in the country. The coal mine in Kentucky was one of the roughly 130,000 such sites that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had earmarked for renewable energy projects.

The construction of the facility is expected to begin in 2022 and be commercially operational by early 2024. During the 12 to 18 month construction period, company leaders report the project will create between 250 and 300 construction jobs, in addition to 11 full-time Kentucky jobs, including eight in Martin County. Upon completion, the project will be one of the largest solar energy generation facilities operating in Kentucky.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) has also approved Martin County Solar Project to gain up to $600,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA).

Savion’s solar project includes a local partnership with Edelen Renewables, which has played a key role in the initial phase of development. Savion oversees renewable energy projects from conception to construction and currently has 90 solar and over 40 energy storage projects under development with a combined output of 15 gigawatts.