Big Rivers Electric Corp. has plans to purchase solar power from a 1,700 acre solar farm that will be built in Henderson County.

Big Rivers announced their intentions to purchase power from Geronimo Energy at the planned solar farm, which will go into construction in 2022 and is expected to go online the following year. The solar farm will produce 160 megawatts of power, and will be built at 4 Star Industrial Park.

Some of that power will likely be used in Daviess County.

Jennifer Keach, director of communications and community relations for Big Rivers, said the power will go to the company’s “member owners,” including Kenergy.

Daviess County is Kenergy’s biggest customer, with 23,055 accounts, according to Kenergy’s Website.

But the solar farm won’t affect Owensboro Municipal Utilities’ contract to purchase power from Big Rivers, OMU spokeswoman Sonya Dixon said.

Gov. Andy Besear and the Department of Local Government recently announced that 418 acres of land had been sold in the industrial park for the solar farm. A press release from Big Rivers said the company has a 20-year agreement to purchase power from the solar farm.

Keach said, currently, renewable energy makes up about 16% of the company’s energy portfolio, from hydroelectric power.

Along with the Henderson County project, Big Rivers also has a 20-year agreement to purchase solar power from solar arrays scheduled to be built by Community Energy in Meade and McCracken counties.

After both solar farms are online, Big Rivers’ percentage of power from renewable energy is expected to rise to 32% by 2024 or 2025, Keach said.

OMU also has a contract to purchase energy from a solar farm being built in Lyon County. That project, when online, will provide about 5% of the city’s power, OMU officials said previously.

OMU also receives hydroelectric power from dams on the Cumberland River, Dixon said. Beyond the Lyon County project, OMU has “nothing in the works” as far as delving into more renewable energy sources, Dixon said.

OMU’s agreement to purchase energy from Big Rivers won’t be altered by the Henderson solar farm, Dixon said.

“This does not change our contract with Big Rivers, since we have established pricing with them,” Dixon said.

The power OMU will purchase comes from coal-fired sources, Dixon said.

“That’s guaranteed pricing” under the contract, Dixon said.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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