Commercial, Solar - March 13, 2019
Toyota joins 100MW solar project in Kentucky
Toyota is now a partner on a 100 MW solar farm project occupying 700 acres in Eastern Kentucky, the largest of its kind in the state.
The solar farm is planned to be on a Pike County strip mine on Bent Mountain in Kentucky. It was first announced in 2017 to help attract new companies and create jobs in Eastern Kentucky. The project cost the county approximately $130 million.
Toyota's partnership in the project will include the automaker being supplied with power generated by the solar farm. Developers hope it will eventually attract other large companies to purchase energy from renewable energy facilities in Eastern Kentucky.
"Our final step of the project was to have someone to buy the power for the next 15 to 20 years," Ryan Johns, one of the project developers, said. "Our new partner in this process is Toyota."
The project is expected to begin construction in late summer and take about a year and a half to complete. The developers believe it could create 50 ongoing jobs and 200 construction jobs, many of which will be filled by local workers.
Other partners in the Bent Mountain project include EDF Renewable Energy, which is providing capital for construction and planning, and Edelen Strategic Ventures, a business consulting company launched by former state auditor Adam Edelen.
The solar venture is a new type of project in a region that has historically relied heavily on coal production.