Rivian to Turn Kentucky Coal Mine into Solar Energy Center


Rivian plans to convert the Starfire Mine in Kentucky to a solar energy center. The conversion is estimated to be a $1 billion solar project.
The Starfire Mine was once one of the largest coal mines in the U.S. It will be one of Kentucky’s largest renewable power projects once converted. Rivian will work on the Starfire project with renewable energy power producer BrightNight and The Nature Conservancy

“Shifting our energy system toward carbon neutrality goes beyond electrifying the roughly 1.5 billion vehicles in the global fleet,” said Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. “We must also support the decarbonization of our energy infrastructure through the responsible deployment of renewable energy. We are thrilled to collaborate with organizations like The Nature Conservancy and BrightNight to bring Starfire to life and help create a scalable model for a modern grid that provides reliable, affordable and carbon-free energy for all.”

Once complete, the Starfire coal mine will be the BrightNight Starfire Renewable Energy Center, which Rivian and its collaborators hope will have an 800 MW capacity to support the power consumption of 170,000 households annually. BrightNight plans to construct a 20-mile transmission line for the project, enabling an additional 1GW of clean power generation for the site.

“Rivian is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking manufacturers in America, and we are proud that they have chosen BrightNight and the Starfire Renewable Energy Center to help achieve their sustainability goals,” BrightNight CEO Martin Hermann said. “Together, we are transforming a coal mine, reinvesting in a region eager to continue its role as an energy leader, and demonstrating the incredible impact of corporate power procurement.”

The development will happen in four phases. Phase 1 is expected to start in 2025 with initial construction. 

Rivian has committed to purchasing 100 MW of renewable energy from Phase 1 of the project buildout. The EV automaker has already signed a power purchase agreement with BrightNight.

We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

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