Coming Soon to This Coal County: Solar, in a Big Way

Martin County, Kentucky, can be considered coal country. If such is the case, the nation’s economy is in dire need of help.

Only about 12 individuals still work in coal mining in the county, which once employed thousands of people. Despite a surge in coal mining, Martin County in Kentucky was not a prosperous area.

Coming Soon to This Coal County: Solar, in a Big Way


Coming Soon to This Coal County: Solar, in a Big Way

Here, Lyndon B. Johnson made the eagerly awaited declaration that his War On Poverty had officially begun. Many of the county’s historic high peaks have since been destroyed by explosions and buried beneath the valleys and streams. However, fate has it that the now-smooth mountaintops are the ideal places for big solar farms.

Adam Edelen, a native of Kentucky and a former Democratic state auditor, established the Martin County Solar Project, a 200 megawatt solar farm on the site of the former Martiki mine. After it completes its final regulatory procedure, the facility will be owned by the renewable energy company Savion.

Millions of dollars can be saved on the expensive initial setup needed to connect the plant to the grid and start supplying all that lovely clean energy to the grid because the location already has a sub-station and transmission lines.

Edelen and Savion designed a diploma programme in conjunction with Big Sandy Community College administration to assist those temporary employees in locating long-term employment.

According to Erich Miarka, head of development at Savion, “Purely for selfish reasons, we have other projects in the region, other developers do, and these talents are going to be transferrable.” Over the following few years, a lot of work will be needed.

Renewable Energy Resources and Superfund Sites

The EPA has campaigned for the installation of renewable energy systems atop Superfund sites for almost ten years.

It is preferable to build homes on top of filthy soil than to use solar panels and wind turbines, which don’t give a damn whether the ground they are placed on is contaminated with toxic substances.

The EPA has identified almost 130,000 suitable sites for wind or solar projects, but so far, just 500 of those sites have been transformed to generate renewable energy. Edelen Renewables is now developing 18 additional solar projects, six of which will be built on abandoned coal mines.

A Few Sad People Exist

Among union members, coal miners seem to be the most reluctant to shift their focus to renewable energy. They demand to be promptly put back in their prior jobs.

For many years, the economic stability of many local families was reliant on the coal mining industry. It is a tough pill to swallow to acknowledge that coal culture, like that of blacksmiths, spokeshaves, and cartwrights, is vanishing.

Just not fair, I say! That kind of wounded pride is essentially the subject of Hillbilly Elegy. According to the Constitution, coal miners are guaranteed a job and benefits for the duration of their lives, which includes their offspring indefinitely.

Martin county is filled with reactionary voices from the alleged “culture war,” where many mourn the loss of their “way of life.”

Nearly two-thirds of the Navajo houses next door lacked access to electricity when NGS was in operation; the solar farm’s development had no impact on this situation.

The transmission wires cross Navajo land, yet they don’t give the residents access to electricity. The distribution of the power generated by the solar sector to local inhabitants requires more consideration.

Key Idea

It is challenging to hear the complaints of individuals who said nothing as their communities were destroyed by coal companies and their land was harmed by mining.

21 years ago, a coal slurry containment lagoon burst its banks, spilling 250 million gallons of poisonous coal waste contaminated with arsenic and mercury into the mine below, causing extensive damage.

Then it moved on to the streams and rivers, where it drowned every frog, fish, and snapping turtle it came across. Additionally contaminated was the county’s supply of drinking water.