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State’s massive solar project challenges traditional energy stronghold: ‘We’re both proud and excited’

The project, called Unbridled, is being developed by National Grid and will be 13 times larger than any existing solar arrays in the state.

The project, called Unbridled, is being developed by National Grid and will be 13 times larger than any existing solar arrays in the state.

Photo Credit: iStock

One of the United States states that has been most resistant to transitioning to clean energy is taking a major step in the right direction. Kentucky is getting by far its largest-ever solar project, which is expected to go live in 2024, according to the news platform Recharge.

The project, called Unbridled, is being developed by National Grid and will be 13 times larger than any existing solar arrays in the state. Construction has already begun.

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Kentucky politicians have resisted the transition to clean energy, as the coal mining industry has been an important one for the state, with Democrats and Republican candidates alike regularly pledging fealty to the industry in an attempt to court voters. 

However, the times are changing, and the acknowledgment that dirty energy sources like coal harm our planet and need to be replaced with clean, renewable sources like solar has spread even to Kentucky. 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as cited by Recharge, Kentucky still relies on coal for 68% of its power, the third largest of any state behind only West Virginia and Wyoming, and according to Forbes, the state currently ranks 46th out of 50 as “best states for solar,” based on various measures. However, with the Unbridled project, those figures may be about to change.

“We’re both proud and excited to be constructing the largest solar renewable energy project in the state of Kentucky,” said Blake Nixon, president of National Grid Renewables.

The news of the Unbridled project comes alongside recent news that the state’s largest utility company, Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities, has gotten permission from state regulators to increase its solar and battery storage capacities by 900%.

While there are still more than 5,000 coal miners employed in Kentucky, according to Recharge, around 6,000 miners lost their jobs in the past decade as other states have started to transition away from coal usage. Hopefully, more clean, renewable energy projects coming to the state will mean more jobs for Kentuckians and less damage to our planet.

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