solar site

Applications are under review on solar-power generating projects in Russell and Henderson counties.

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky State Board on Electric Generation and Transmission Siting has applications on two separate solar array projects with a public hearing on one of them scheduled for the end of the month.

The Siting Board will conduct a hearing on a proposed 60-megawatt solar generation facility in Russell County. It is set for 5 p.m. CDT Aug. 31 at the Russell County Courthouse in Jamestown.

The public comment period will be preceded by a 30-minute presentation by PSC staff on the Electric Generation and Transmission Siting Board process and an overview of the application filed by Mt. Olive Creek Solar LLC, to build a 60-megawatt solar generation facility on a 476-acre site near Russell Springs.

The Siting Board consists of the three members of the state Public Service Commission, the secretary of the Energy and Environmental Cabinet or a designee, the secretary of the Economic Development Cabinet or a designee and two local members appointed by the governor to serve for a specific case. The chair of the PSC serves as presiding officer of the Siting Board.

The two local members for the Mt. Olive Creek Solar case are former State Rep. Jeff Hoover of Jamestown representing residents, and Russell County Judge-Executive Gary D. Robertson, representing county government.

The Siting Board also received an application requesting a construction certificate for a solar energy project and electric transmission line from Sebree Solar LLC.

They propose building a 250-megawatt photovoltaic solar array on about 1,200 acres near Robards in Henderson County and a 4.85-mile transmission line in Henderson and Webster counties.

A review determined the application was complete as filed on Aug. 13.

The Siting Board, part of the PSC, is charged by law with reviewing applications for independent power producers, which are not regulated by the PSC. Applicants are not required to meet the criteria set by the PSC for new facilities built by regulated utilities, and thus do not need to demonstrate, among other things, that the proposed facility is necessary to meet demand for electricity.

The Siting Board considers issues such as noise, visual impact, traffic, economic impacts, effects of the proposed facility on Kentucky’s electric grid plus compliance with local planning and zoning requirements. It does not address environmental matters, which are under the jurisdiction of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection.

The Siting Board has 120 days after an application is deemed complete to decide whether to approve that application or 180 days if a formal hearing is requested.

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