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Sunday, July 14, 2024

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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

East Kentucky Power Cooperative invests in two large solar farms

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Friday, June 21, 2024   

Two new solar farms will soon be under construction in the Lexington and Lebanon areas to bring affordable and clean energy to eastern Kentuckians, according to East Kentucky Power Cooperative, the utility spearheading the projects.

Local community members, including an ecumenical monastic community of women in Floyd County, said the move is a step in the right direction.

Nick Comer, external affairs manager for the cooperative, said plans include a 96 megawatt solar farm on 635 acres in Marion County and a 40 megawatt solar farm on 387 acres in Fayette County.

"These will certainly be among the largest solar farms in Kentucky that I'm aware of," Comer noted. "They will provide enough electricity for about 15,500 homes. This is a big move forward for renewable energy in Kentucky."

The cooperative is owned by more than a dozen distribution cooperatives and provides power to around 1 million people.

Kathy Curtis, prioress of The Dwelling Place Monastery in Mount Tabor, said the move reflects a changing reality in a region long dependent on coal industry jobs. She added the emerging tourism industry in eastern Kentucky depends on having clean lakes, mountains and other natural resources.

"We need to be bold and step into the future," Curtis urged. "Expecting that it will be good, not being afraid, just expecting that this is a good choice for Kentucky across the board."

Comer pointed out construction for the Lexington solar farm is expected to start in 2025 and the Marion County farm in 2026.

"These two projects are expected to be online in mid 2027, right now they're going through a regulatory process with the Kentucky Public Service Commission," Comer explained.

Kentucky continues to expand solar energy. Earlier this year the state was awarded more than $62 million in grants to help increase access to affordable residential solar.


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