Two solar projects come online in Kentucky to support Amazon operations


Two Kentucky solar projects supporting Amazon operations are now online: the rooftop array at the Amazon Air Hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and Turkey Creek, a solar array operated by Silicon Ranch.

According to BloombergNEF, Amazon is on track to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2025 and is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in Kentucky and globally. Amazon currently has a total of 30 renewable energy projects in the Southeast region, including solar and wind projects in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina, which will have a total capacity of more than 7,500 GWh. when projects are fully operational.

“As Amazon moves to power our operations with 100% renewable energy, we’re proud to support new solar and wind projects in Kentucky and the Southeast where local communities and our customers can benefit, too,” said Amazon Energy the director. and Sustainable Operations Chris Roe. “These projects help bring clean energy to local grids, create jobs, support local businesses and farmers, and boost the rural tax base, all of which are part of Amazon’s broader commitment to becoming a more sustainable company.”

At Amazon’s Air Hub at CVG Airport, Amazon partnered with Duke Energy to build a 2-MWatt rooftop solar project. Amazon rents the roof for free to Duke Energy, which worked with Amazon’s team to install the panels. Duke Energy operates the system, which now feeds all the electricity it produces into the local grid to help power nearby homes and businesses.

“I want to congratulate Amazon and Duke Energy on their partnership, which demonstrates both companies’ commitment to moving toward a greener energy future for Kentucky and their work to create healthier communities,” Kentucky Energy said. and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman.

At the 70-MWdc Turkey Creek Solar Project in Garrard County, a rural farming community of more than 20,000 people, the farmland under the solar panels is managed by local agriculture through a partnership with Daniel Bell, owner of Hazelbrook, a local sheep ranch. Silicon Ranch, developer and landowner of the farm and project. Bell sheep are used as part of a managed grazing approach that will prevent overgrowth of vegetation and interfere with energy production, while improving soil health and ecosystem function. The panels instead provide a source of shade for the sheep.

The partnership enables Bell to triple the size of his flock to nearly 1,000 sheep and turn a part-time farm into a full-time, multigenerational operation, creating a year-round shepherding job for his son, Canaan, who previously was. was employed as a worker in a local factory. The family plans to hire additional workers in the coming months to support the farm’s growth.

The Bells sell their sheep to a local meat distributor who is a supplier to Whole Foods Markets, an Amazon-owned grocery chain with locations in Kentucky and Ohio.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Bell, who originally spotted the solar farm building and approached Silicon Ranch. “People want to be farmers, but it’s very difficult to be profitable. I have always dreamed of being a full-time farmer and wanted that opportunity for my children, and now they have it.”

“As the long-term owner and operator of every project we develop, we understand and embrace our responsibility to be responsible stewards of the land we own and to be productive members of the communities in which we are located,” said Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and CEO Reagan Farr. . “Through our renewable energy platform, we’re proving that marrying solar and agriculture on a single property brings important social, economic and environmental benefits to our communities, and over the past few years we’ve shown we can turn the land upside down.” and around our solar panels is better than when we originally found it. We have assembled a talented team to help advance this important mission, and we are pleased to extend this significant legacy to Garrard County, Kentucky.”

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