KYMEA and RWE Break Ground on Largest Solar Project in Kentucky

On July 26, 2023, Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KYMEA) and RWE broke ground on the Ashwood Solar I Project (Ashwood), the largest solar project in the Commonwealth. Ashwood will be constructed and operated by RWE Clean Energy, a subsidiary of RWE AG, with an agreement that calls for KYMEA to purchase 100% of the energy produced by the project over a 20-year term.

More than 226,000 solar panels are being installed in Lyon County, Kentucky, covering an area of 250 acres. The total generating capability will be 86 megawatts of zero-emissions energy, which will be enough to power more than 15,000 KYMEA member households with green energy.

The eight KYMEA Kentucky communities receiving power from the project are: Barbourville Utility Commission, Bardwell City Utilities, City Utilities Commission of Corbin, City of Falmouth, Frankfort Plant Board, Madisonville Electric Department, City of Paris Combined Utilities, and the City of Providence Utilities.

The solar power project is expected to produce almost 200 million kilowatt-hours of electrical energy annually. Ashwood will supply approximately 15% of the energy needs of KYMEA.

Doug Buresh, President and CEO of KYMEA, said: “We are proud to add this clean, carbon-free, and economical resource to the Agency’s portfolio. Josh Callihan, Barbourville Utility Commission General Manager and Chairman of the KYMEA Board added: “This is a very important step in our plan to provide affordable energy to our customers in a very environmentally responsible manner. By working together, KYMEA and our member communities have shown that we can make solar energy cost effective.”

To enhance efficiency, the project will use bi-facial, fixed-tilt panels, maximizing power output. RWE brings vast experience in developing, financing, and operating solar and other renewable energy projects.

“Our Ashwood project, which will be the largest facility of its kind in the state, underscores how competitive solar energy is in diverse markets across the U.S., said Mark Noyes, CEO RWE Clean Energy, a subsidiary of RWE AG. “Each project we install produces sustainable, renewable energy, cuts harmful emissions and helps improve air and water quality in the community. We are committed to being a good neighbor in the community for the long term and thank the local communities and officials for their warm welcome.”

Construction of the project is expected to be completed by June 1, 2024.

About Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency
Created in September 2015, 11 municipal electric utilities entered into an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement creating the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KYMEA), a joint public agency. KYMEA was formed to facilitate effective collaboration among its members to do all things necessary or convenient to serve the current and future electric power and energy requirements of the members and to provide assistance to the members related to their electric power and energy utility systems.

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About RWE Clean Energy
RWE Clean Energy, a subsidiary of RWE Group, is a top-tier renewable energy company in the United States. With more than 15 years in the U.S. renewables business, the company has an outstanding track record in developing, constructing, and operating renewable energy facilities. The 1500-person RWE team in the U.S. is fully committed to forging ahead with the clean energy transition in North America. RWE Clean Energy operates a renewable energy portfolio of about 8 gigawatts (GW) installed capacity of onshore wind, solar, and battery storage, making it the number four renewable energy company in the U.S. and the country’s second largest solar owner and operator, present in the majority of U.S. states. As part of the RWE Group’s Growing Green strategy to expand globally its green portfolio to more than 50 GW of installed capacity and to invest globally more than EUR 50 billion gross by 2030, RWE Clean Energy is determined to significantly increase its operating asset base in the U.S. This is backed by a project pipeline of more than 24 GW in onshore wind, solar and battery storage which provides for one of the largest development platforms in the United States. RWE Clean Energy’s strong position in renewable energy is a result of combining RWE Renewables Americas with Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, acquired by RWE in March 2023.

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