Solar power farms coming to Henderson, Webster Co. line

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 12:25 AM CDT
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HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - Big Rivers Electric Corporation has found two solar developers to create “solar array farms” in parts of the commonwealth, including one near the Tri-State area.

Through this partnership, 1,700 hundred acres of solar arrays will be placed on the Henderson and Webster County line.

“We see this as a great opportunity to have this renewable energy source added to our portfolio and it’s a sole benefit to our member owners,” Jennifer M. Keach, Director Communications and Community Relations at Big Rivers Electric Corporation said.

The developers will create, manage and own the plant, but the impact will be felt by all in the surrounding area.

For instance, farmers may be losing land due to the project. However, they will be gaining some in other areas.

“A natural gas company that had planned to build a natural gas power plant on 2,000 acres in eastern Henderson County has fallen through, so they’re going to sell 2,000 acres back to the community,” County Judge Executive Brad Schneider said.

This new form of energy will also help with economic development - creating construction jobs, and many more.

“It will attract industries that need or require renewable energy as a part of their power load," Schneider said. "We’re going to provide it directly to them with these projects.”

But what about the coal industry? Are jobs hanging in the balance?

“I hope not - I think the truth is our country needs a combination of fossil fuels and renewables," Schneider said. “Renewables aren’t in a position to replace coal or natural gas, so hopefully we can find a good balance there.”

Officials at Big Rivers Electric Corporation told 14 News this project creates an opportunity for their company to continue to provide great electrical service, while also lowering the carbon footprint.

Company officials say before construction can begin, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service and the Kentucky Public Service Commission must approve the agreement with the developers.

If the plan stays on track, energy will be ready for use by 2024.

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