Berea to Build Solar Energy Farm

Yesterday’s Richmond Register has a cover story on Berea Municipal Utilities’ plans to build a solar energy farm in Madison County, Kentucky. We think this project is a great example the ways towns in Appalachia can make a transition to a more just, sustainable and prosperous future. The farm could generate 10 kilowatts a month and help supply electricity for the utility’s office building. BMU customers will have an opportunity to lease one or more of the solar panels for a few hundred dollars for a lifetime lease. The value of the power they generate will be credited to the customer’s electric bill.

A previous post covered the benefits of solar farming and its job-creation potential, specifically regarding the Turning Point Solar project, a 500-acre, 50-megawatt solar project to be built on a former strip mine site in Ohio that is projected to generate between 600 and 700 jobs.

BMU’s purchase of the solar panels and efficient T-12 lights for use in city buildings were supported by a $125,000 Energy Efficiency Community Development Block Grant. The article reports that the city also has applied for, and likely will receive, a $19,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to create a database and fund a study of how to further reduce city government’s energy costs.

Kristin Tracz

About Kristin Tracz

Kristin Tracz served MACED’s Research and Policy team from 2009-2012 working on clean energy policy, energy efficiency programs and the Appalachian Transition Initiative. She joined MACED after finishing her Master of Environmental Management degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She now lives and works in Washington, DC.