HURLEY, Va. — One of the largest solar farms in the Appalachian region is planned for a Buchanan County site on a reclaimed surface coal mine.
The planned site will use about 700 acres and produce a minimum of 60 megawatts with the capability of expanding up to 75 megawatts, according to a joint statement from state Del. Will Morefield, R-N. Tazewell, and Sen. Travis Hackworth, R-Richlands.
The company, Edelen Renewables, has a lease option of 1,600 acres of usable property for expansion.
“This is welcome news for the Hurley community, Buchanan County and Southwest Virginia. I have been working on this project for over a year and excited to see it come to fruition,” Morefield said in a statement. “This project will not only bring a much-needed economic boost to the region, but will help us in our efforts to diversify the economy and attract new industries such as data centers to the Virginia Coalfields.”
The facility will create 250 jobs during the 10- to 14-month construction phase, provide a long-term tax revenue stream for Buchanan County, and provide the coalfields with an attractive renewable energy asset, according to the statement.
“Our coalfield counties must continue to make every effort to diversify the economy. I will strongly support our coal mining and natural gas jobs. I will also make certain that we leave no stone unturned and will support projects such as this solar development so that Southwest Virginia can take advantage of every opportunity. Together we must make every effort to ensure that Southwest Virginia has a bright future,” Hackworth said.
The Buchanan County Board of Supervisors just recently adopted a resolution and voted unanimously to support an application from Buchanan County to apply for federal Abandoned Mine Land Pilot (AML) funds to help assist the project on behalf of Savion, LLC and Edelen Renewables, national leaders in renewable energy development.
“As somebody who is from Kentucky, I care about coal country and want to demonstrate that we have a place for the people who literally powered the industrial development for our economy for 100 years and that we have a place for them in the next hundred years. Construction is anticipated to begin by 2023,” Adam Edelen, CEO of Edelen Renewables, said in the statement.