FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2021) – Kentucky is focused on a future that includes renewable energy, as today Gov. Andy Beshear announced Martin County Solar Project, currently under development by Savion, is moving forward with plans to locate on a former coal mine in unincorporated Martin County, a project that includes up to a $231 million investment and creation of 11 full-time Kentucky jobs.
“We are building a future that works for all Kentuckians, and that future includes an increased reliance on renewable energy,” Gov. Beshear said. “To maintain the incredible economic momentum we have established this year, we must continue to compete for all forms of energy investment. I want to thank Savion for choosing Kentucky.”
The solar energy generation facility will be located on approximately 1,200 acres on the old Martiki mine site in Martin County, interconnecting with Kentucky Power’s 138-kilovolt Inez Substation. When built, the project will create capacity of up to 200 megawatts and will produce enough energy to power the equivalent of more than 33,000 Kentucky homes.
Construction of the facility is expected to begin in 2022 and be commercially operational by early 2024. During the 12- to 18-month construction period, company leaders report the project will create between 250 and 300 construction jobs, in addition to 11 full-time Kentucky jobs, including eight in Martin County. Upon completion, the project will be one of the largest solar energy generation facilities operating in Kentucky.
“It’s exciting to reach this milestone in the project’s development, which moves us closer to the start of construction and commercial operation,” said Erich Miarka, director of development for Savion. “This opportunity would not be possible without the support of Martin County, Martin County School District, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Edelen Renewables. Thank you for your continued efforts to advance this unprecedented project.”
Established in 2019 and headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, Savion is a company focused on utility-scale solar and energy storage projects in 27 states. Savion employs more than 120 people, providing comprehensive services at each phase of renewable energy project development, from conception to construction. The company currently oversees the development of nearly 90 solar projects and more than 40 energy storage projects in the U.S. totaling over 15 gigawatts.
Savion’s solar project includes a local partnership with Edelen Renewables, which has played a key role in the initial phase of development.
“This country owes a tremendous debt to the people and communities that powered the industrial development of America for a century: our miners and coal communities,” said Adam Edelen, founder and CEO of Edelen Renewables. “The Martin County coal-to-solar project is an effort to bring the opportunities of a newer, greener economy to the coalfields. Doing so has required the strong support of the Beshear administration and local leadership. We are grateful to all for their support.”
Martin County Judge/Executive Victor Slone said the project will benefit the community in the years ahead.
“On behalf of the Martin County Fiscal Court, I am excited to see the Martin County Solar Project come to fruition,” Judge/Executive Slone said. “This investment will impact our community for years to come. I look forward to the new jobs that will be created in Martin County throughout the course of this project, and I am confident other companies will take notice of the opportunity to invest in Martin County as a result.”
The Martin County Solar Project furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.
This year, the commonwealth has shattered every economic development record in the books for yearly investment totals. Year-to-date, private-sector new-location and expansion announcements include $11 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create 17,000 full-time jobs across the coming years. Through September, Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage is $24.15 before benefits, a 10% increase over the previous year.
In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.
In July, thanks to strong fiscal management by the Beshear administration, the state budget office reported the commonwealth ended the 2021 fiscal year with a general fund surplus of over $1.1 billion – the highest ever in the commonwealth – and a 10.9% increase in general fund receipts to $12.8 billion.
In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods over services. The report also found Kentucky’s manufacturing industry outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.
Fitch Ratings in May improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million. Site Selection also recently placed Kentucky in a tie for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today approved Martin County Solar Project for up to $600,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
In addition, Martin County Solar can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
For more information on Savion, visit SavionEnergy.com.
A detailed community profile for Martin County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.