Kentucky's first coal-to-solar initiative
Kentucky historically ranks among the top five US coal-producing states, an industry that economically sustained eastern and western Kentucky for decades. As the sector weakened, so did the stability of coal communities.
Realizing the need for job growth and energy investment, developers conceived coal-to-solar endeavors that brought new life to reclaimed properties. Savion, one such renewable energy developer envisioned the Martin County Solar Project, a 200-megawatt utility-scale solar facility that would be largest in Kentucky at the time. They partnered with Stantec to obtain regulatory agency certifications and environmental clearances.
Coal companies often sold reclaimed mines to smaller companies before permitting was complete, posing unique challenges for Savion such as unreleased reclamation bonds, land-use changes, and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) sediment pond close-outs. We completed wetland delineations, habitat assessments, and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jurisdictional Determination to facilitate the application process. We also guided the merchant electric generating facility construction certification process, which became the first approved in the state, clearing the way for the project.
Ultimately, Savion received permission to construct the facility and helped pave the way for other renewable energy initiatives in the state.
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