Coal Company Wants to Turn Former Strip Mine into Solar Farm

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – An Appalachian coal company wants to turn one of its former strip mines into a solar farm.

The Berkeley Energy Group, EDF Renewable Energy and former state Auditor Adam Edelen announced Tuesday they are looking at two mountaintop removal sites just outside of Pikeville in the heart of Kentucky’s coal country.

Berkeley Energy Group Development Executive Ryan Johns said the solar farm would generate between 50 and 100 megawatts of electricity that would be sold to power companies along the east coast. He said the project would cost tens of millions of dollars and include “hundreds of thousands” of solar panels.

The project is the latest effort to diversify Kentucky’s energy resources. Earlier this month, the Kentucky Coal Museum installed solar panels on its roof.