Curtis Tate Published

Nicholas County Solar Project Receives $129 Million Federal Grant

Black solar panels spread out over a rolling hill, with new grass planted below and a gravel road running between them.
The Fort Martin solar installation.
Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A southern West Virginia solar project received a big grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Nicholas County Solar Project will generate 250 megawatts of electricity on two former coal mines.

It will receive the largest federal cost share – $129 million – out of five demonstration projects nationwide on current or former mine property. 

It is projected to create 400 construction jobs and four operations jobs as well as $18.5 million in property taxes.

The solar facility will be built by Savion, a Kansas City, Missouri, company that’s part of Shell.

Just across the border in Martin County, Kentucky, Savion is building a 200 megawatt solar facility on a former coal mine. Half its power will go to Toyota.

The Energy Department also announced Thursday an $81 million grant for a pumped storage power project in Bell County, Kentucky.

The largest solar facility currently in West Virginia is Mon Power’s Fort Martin site, which began operating in January and generates 19 megawatts.

One megawatt can power roughly 750 homes at one time.