Construction for the 800-acre solar farm in Lyon County will begin in 2021.
That’s according to project developer Open Road Renewables Vice President Mike Volpe. He said construction should take 12 months with the array will coming online in late 2022.
Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency President Doug Buresh has said the agency considered about two hundred options to bring more renewable energy into KYMEA’s portfolio.
Vople said the company selected the 800-acres in west Kentucky because it is better suited for solar than other parts of the state. “There’s more sunlight, hours in a day and there’s more energy that actually comes from the sun that will hit a farm field in western Kentucky, rather than central Kentucky or eastern Kentucky,” he said.
A release from Open Road Renewables said the project is expected to bring around 400 jobs to the area. The release said many of those jobs will be for the construction phase of the project but will later include a crew to operate and maintain the solar farm once it’s completed. Jobs needed during construction range from engineers to electricians, to entry-level positions needed for panel mounting and installation.
Volpe said Open Road Renewables have used previous projects to promote educational opportunities. He said with other projects, the company has establised scholarships for local students that want to pursue STEM careers after high school. In addtion, he said there are opportunities to partner with local community colleges to offer classes about solar energy.
Volpe said the company is working with Lake Barkley Partnership For Economic Development to establish those partnerships.
The solar farm will provide power for eight municipalities in Kentucky, including Bardwell, Madisonville, and Providence.