Candela Renewables is proposing the Stonefield Solar Project, a 120 MW solar energy facility in Hardin County, Kentucky.
The Stonefield Solar Project is currently being developed in Hardin County, Kentucky by Stonefield Solar, LLC. Stonefield Solar is an affiliate of Candela Renewables, the most accomplished team of utility-scale solar power plant developers in North America.
Learn more about the project and Candela. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Candela directly for additional information using contact information found below.
Candela Renewables is developing the Stonefield Solar Project, a solar photovoltaic (PV) generating station in Hardin County. Stonefield would include 1,030 acres of land, of which 675 acres would be fenced in. The surface area of solar panels within these fenced areas would be 166 acres – leaving significant open, green space within the project boundaries, including paths bisecting the site to allow wildlife to pass.
The site is located near the Vulcan Materials Quarry along U.S. Highway 62 near the southwestern edge of the City of Elizabethtown, generally between the TJ Patterson Industrial Park and the Glendale Mega Site.
Stonefield Project Site
Stonefield plans to begin construction no earlier than spring 2024, with the project expected to become fully operational by 2026.
This solar photovoltaic project will create the equivalent of about 200 full-time local jobs during construction. During the project’s operation, there will be between 10 and 30 temporary jobs created to support vegetation management, snow removal, and other seasonal maintenance as needed. We expect most of this work will be contracted through local companies. It also provides valuable workforce training, supplies significant new funds to local taxing districts throughout the lifespan of the project, and drives substantial indirect economic benefits as construction activities lead to new business for local hotels, restaurants, equipment retailers, gas stations, and other businesses.
Additionally, Stonefield Solar will directly support Hardin County’s economic development efforts by providing clean, affordable renewable energy to the local electricity transmission grid. Availability of local renewable energy is critical to attracting world-class partners to Hardin County and the surrounding regions.
June 20 – 21, 2023 – Hardin County Fiscal Court Meeting
The Hardin County Fiscal Court will have a hearing of Candela Renewable’s appeal regarding Stonefield Solar. The 3:30 p.m. hearings will allow magistrates to watch the 5+ hours video from May 2 Planning and Development Commission hearing. The video viewing will be over the two days. Timing of the vote is at the discretion of the Fiscal Court.
May 2, 2023 – Hardin County Planning & Development Commission Hearing and Vote
Stonefield Solar Project presented at the May 2 Meeting of the Hardin County Planning and Development Commission for a zoning change. The zoning was denied by a vote of 3-1 (one commissioner recusing).
April 20, 2023 – Hardin County Schools Board of Education (Community Engagement)
Apr. 12, 2023 – Hardin County Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon (Community Engagement)
Attended Hardin County Chamber of Commerce April luncheon to meet local stakeholders and introduced as a new member.
Apr. 10, 2023 – Hardin County Fire Chiefs Association (Community Engagement)
Presented project details to the Hardin County Fire Chiefs Association and County Judge/Executive Keith Taul. Great opportunity for the project team to listen to local experts and gather feedback that will lead to a well-informed Emergency Response Plan.
Mar. 24, 2023 – The News-Enterprise (Media Engagement)
Interviewed by The News-Enterprise about the Stonefield Solar project. Published Article: Solar project may not see the light of day
Mar. 22, 2023 – Elected Officials (Government Engagement)
Hosted meetings with willing Hardin County elected officials interested in learning more about the positive impact of solar in Hardin County.
Mar. 21, 2023 – Envision 70 Acres (Community Engagement)
Hosted community brainstorm to gather feedback regarding opportunity to give back.
Mar. 20, 2023 – Resources and Community Support Committee (Government Engagement)
Attended and provided comments at the Resources and Community Support Committee Meeting.
Mar. 8, 2023 – Hardin County Chamber of Commerce Luncheon (Community Engagement)
Attended Hardin County Chamber of Commerce March luncheon to meet local stakeholders.
Mar. 6, 2023 – Down Syndrome Association of the Heartland (Community Engagement)
Announced a one-week corporate campaign match for Down Syndrome Association of the Heartland. The $2,100 match went to the organization’s World Down Syndrome Day Campaign.
Hardin County Chamber of Commerce Luncheon (Community Engagement)
Attended Hardin County Chamber of Commerce February luncheon to meet local stakeholders.
Feb. 7, 2023 – Hardin County Beekeepers Association (Community Engagement)
Meeting with the Hardin County Beekeepers Association to discuss needs of pollinators and potential agrivoltaic opportunities on the proposed Stonefield Solar site.
Apr. 21, 2022 – Elizabethtown Community and Technical College Multicultural Fair (Community Engagement)
Participated in Earth Day section of the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College Multicultural Fair. Student-led organizations, campus resource groups, external parties, and community members were in attendance.
Jan. 13, 2022 – Presentation to John Hardin High School Class (Community Engagement)
Stonefield Solar project team members gave a presentation on solar energy to a Principles of Agriculture class at John Hardin High School. The presentation was followed by an open discussion giving students the chance to ask questions and to learn more about the industry.
Nov. 11, 2021 – Public Information Meeting (Community Engagement)
Held a public information meeting at the Central Kentucky Community Foundation in Elizabethtown. At this event, seven Candela representatives were available to answer in-depth questions from community members. Published article: Third solar company holds public meeting
Nov. 3, 2021 – Expert Roundtable on Solar Energy in Hardin County (Media Engagement)
Candela Vice President of Project Development James Cook participated in a roundtable discussion with Hilda Legg, former rural development state director for Kentucky at U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Trump Administration and Rick Games, president and chief operating officer for Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation. Published article: Experts address Hardin County’s solar future
Who is Candela?
Candela Renewable’s accomplished team of solar power plant developers has successfully sited, developed and built over 4,000 MW of projects, including solar facilities in Arizona, Nevada, and throughout North America.
Candela works across generation and storage, completing projects across a wide variety of topographies, market and commercial structures, grid configurations, and financing structures. Candela has also built durable and long-standing relationships with utilities, landowners, permitting agencies, investors, lenders and tax-equity investors.
For more information about Candela, please visit candelarenewables.com.
How Can I Learn More?
We are committed to providing full transparency about the Stonefield Solar Project. If you have questions, comments, concerns, or anything else you think we should know, please contact Rick or Aubree using contact info below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Isn’t solar a very inefficient way to produce energy?
No. For example, the net energy production per acre from solar is 100 to 125 times greater than from corn-based ethanol. One thousand acres of corn ethanol can power about 700 cars for a year. The same thousand acres of solar could power about 60,000 electric vehicles for a year.
Ethanol is one of the most widespread uses of farmland for energy production, with about 90 million acres of US farmland planted in corn every year and one third or more of that corn production going to ethanol to be blended into gasoline and burned as fuel.
If ethanol is efficient enough to be a widely accepted energy source for our society, why would solar not be?
You can look into these numbers yourself in this study from Clean Wisconsin, which draws on data from 14 other studies.
You can also look at this report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It shows that the amount of land needed for solar for a 100% renewable electrical grid is about equal to the amount of land currently used for coal extraction – and much less than the amount currently used for ethanol production.
Do Kentucky’s power companies want solar?
Yes. Solar development follows demand for solar energy. LG&E-KU and East Kentucky Power (who provides the energy that Nolin RECC distributes to customers) have been issuing RFPs for solar energy for the past few years, and their Integrated Resource Plans show that they intend to procure solar power from multiple solar projects every year for the foreseeable future. These companies’ Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) are frequently submitted to the Kentucky Public Service Commission for rigorous review, debate, and regulatory approval. The most recent IRPs are available at https://psc.ky.gov.
This does not mean that Hardin County or any other Kentucky county will be swallowed up by solar. Like anything else in the market, the value of solar generation declines when there is too much of it in one place. This will naturally cause the power companies to buy power from projects located around the state, in order to support all areas of their electric grids.
Will solar power cause electricity prices to rise?
Kentucky’s generation mix currently has very low levels of solar. At these levels, solar reduces utility costs by replacing a more expensive unit of electricity from a natural gas or coal power plant. While traditional natural gas and coal power plants have to pay for every unit of fuel they burn, solar is different – once it’s built, its output is essentially free and its price does not fluctuate with commodity prices.
Even better, solar power produces best at the times when electricity is most needed – typically hot, sunny summer afternoons when businesses and people are busy and every air conditioner in town is turned on high.
The chart below shows hourly electricity prices in PJM, a power market that serves Hardin County. Blue is cheap, red is expensive. You can see that most expensive power prices occurred on summer afternoons – exactly when solar is suited to help mitigate costs by increasing electricity supply.
Finally, don’t take our word for it. Know that the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) regulates the activities of utility companies, and one key priority of the PSC is to ensure affordability. This is why solar is showing up in so many utilities’ plans now – because regulators agree that it is an economical energy source that is in consumers’ best interests.
How much farmland in Hardin County will be used for solar?
Many Hardin County residents are interested in placing solar panels on their farmland. Their reasons include the more stable income offered by solar leases compared to farming; the recognized benefits of giving soils a rest from intensive production agriculture, an opportunity to keep valued land in the family for future generations, and personal beliefs about sustainability.
However, despite widespread landowner interest, it is likely that only a small portion of land currently under option for solar will actually end up hosting solar panels. Only about 14% of proposed solar capacity is actually built. This high attrition rate is why land is almost never actually “leased” before a project starts construction – instead, solar companies enter into “option to lease” agreements under which the companies have 3 to 5 years to determine whether a project is feasible before committing to a long-term lease.
It is widely believed that about 10,000 acres of farmland in Hardin County have been “optioned” for solar projects. Using the historical success rate of 14%, about 1,400 acres would actually be developed for solar. Market forces discourage concentrating solar in single locations, but this effect is only visible after the first project is operational.
Finally, there are about 200,000 acres of farmland in Hardin County, spread across just over 1,300 farms. Stonefield Solar would impact 1,030 of 200,000 acres (0.05%, or 1 of every 2,000 acres), and 2 of 1,300 farms (0.15%).
How will Stonefield Solar contribute to the area’s agricultural character?
Plants, animals, and open space will continue to be prominent elements of the landscape at Stonefield Solar. The agricultural products that can be produced from the site will shift from the corn and soybeans associated with current row cropping to other products that do not require the same level of chemical and mechanical inputs, potentially including lamb, honey, low-growing crops, hazelnuts, poultry, hay, and forestry products.
Business will continue to be generated for local suppliers, including for seed mixes, landscaping, and machinery. The only new element of the landscape – solar panels – will be screened from view in many places by existing tree lines and about 3,400 new trees and shrubs.
Hundreds of acres of native and non-invasive grasses will be established under the panels, and the total area of these perennial pastures will be about three times greater than the surface area of solar panels. Native grasses provide essential habitat for wildlife in addition to potentially supporting agricultural grazing, and help restore soils after prolonged chemical and fertilizer treatments from decades of agricultural use.
Stonefield will also provide a bridge into the future for the farms on which it is sited by providing stable, predictable revenue. Owners of farmland are all too familiar with uncertainty, whether about future commodity prices, floods or droughts, or simply about the decisions their kids and grand-kids will make about family farm ground. Reasons like this have driven many families around the country to sell land they loved and wanted to keep in the family for future generations.
The opportunity to enter into 40 year leases with a heavily regulated company like Stonefield – which is committed and required to return the land to the condition it is in today – is a new solution to this old problem.
Stonefield will provide its farms assurance that their land will be stable and productive for years to come, and that its value can be passed to future generations. Not only will Stonefield ensure stable income for its farms for the life of the project, it is required to return the land to the condition it is in today – meaning that its agricultural character will be assured for decades. At the end of the project’s life, the opportunity will be available to return the land to traditional agriculture.
Properties like Stonefield that have road and railway frontage in the immediate vicinity of the Elizabethtown city limits will face great pressure to transition into much more intensive residential, commercial, or industrial developments in the next three decades. At the time of decommissioning, it is possible that Stonefield’s land will be one of the most important remaining connections to the area’s agricultural heritage.
How will soil health be maintained?
Community members have expressed concern that, when ignored for decades, soil can degrade. This is why significant effort and resources will be put into actively managing soils on the Stonefield Solar site. A Vegetation Management Plan submitted as part of Stonefield Solar’s application to Hardin County describes these efforts in detail.
Seed mixes will be planted prior to construction, composed primarily of native species, to include perennial grasses whose root structures are known to benefit soil health, nitrogen-fixing legumes, and pollinator-friendly species.
Immediate benefits are expected to include reductions in soil erosion and runoff, nutrient leaching, and soil compaction. Long term benefits include enhanced soil health, nutrient regulation, water infiltration, and biodiversity.
Grading will be minimized using a spot grading approach. Graded areas will receive special attention to mitigate the soil disturbance and ensure they are not left behind in terms of soil health. One best management practice typically instituted during construction is to have dedicated areas for storing any topsoil that is removed during grading – preserving the existing seed bank and productive biome of the site. After grading is complete, this topsoil is returned to its original area so the productive growing biome can be rejuvenated.
Introducing grazing animals to some or all of the project site to manage vegetation would further enhance soil health, introducing natural vegetation management and nutrient cycling to the land as well as creating new opportunities for livestock owners and managers.
Are there any examples of land returning to agricultural production after being in solar panels?
Yes. In fact, this happened with the very first utility-scale solar power plant constructed in the US. ARCO Solar was constructed in 1982 on 117 acres of agricultural land near Santa Margarita, California. The project was decommissioned in 1994, and the land returned to barley production for nearly 20 years. The land was developed for solar again as part of the Topaz Solar Farm starting in 2012.
In past chapters of their careers, members of Candela’s founding team played a key role in decommissioning ARCO Solar and in developing the Topaz Solar Farm. In fact, one of our team members took this photo of active Topaz panels when attending an event in the community in March 2023. (Please note that Stonefield Solar’s panels will be spaced farther apart and higher off the ground to allow for even more open space, more vegetation growth, more co-located agricultural activities, and more energy production.) This story demonstrates that solar energy production and rural lands can coexist.
What are the local benefits of the project?
Stonefield Solar’s 1,030 acres of land would generate 40 times more tax revenue in its first year of operation than they do today. Even better, operational solar power plants are a very passive use of land that does not increase the strain on public services (utilities, schools, public safety, etc.) – so the new revenue is actually available, not already “spoken for” as with many other large projects.
As with any development, annual tax revenue decreases over time due to depreciation. But one million dollars of total revenue is still expected to be generated within the first five years of the project’s operational life – and $5.6 million of total revenue over the project’s entire lifetime. Even better, the Hardin County Fiscal Court also has the opportunity to negotiate a Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreement that would lock in constant, higher revenue for the project’s life.
Beyond generation of property tax revenue, the project is expected to make many other contributions to the local economy, including:
- $800,000 expected to be spent up front on seed mixes, shrubs, and trees for perimeter landscaping purposes
- Lease payments to local landowners for at least 25 years
- Significant investment in new or existing small local businesses – suppliers, restaurants, lodging, etc.
- $14 million in new wages during construction ($6.5 million in Hardin County)
- $500,000 in new wages annually during project life ($290,000 in Hardin County)
- $21 million in new economic activity during construction ($8 million in Hardin County)
- $1.5 million in new annual economic activity during project life ($1 million in Hardin County)
- Opportunities to address shortage of skilled trades by providing a pathway for large number of electricians to earn significant on-the-job experience, including via potential collaboration with Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
How have you learned from local expertise?
The dozens of experienced people who have guided the design of Stonefield Solar include farm operators, regenerative agriculture practitioners, grazing managers, and vegetation biologists. Many of them live, work, and farm in Kentucky or southern Indiana.
In addition, the project team has spent more than two years meeting with Hardin County residents from a range of backgrounds. In many cases, feedback we heard from the community is visible in the design of the project. This includes:
- setting aside 70 acres for community use
- subdividing project parcels at Rhudes Creek to ensure a buffer between the project and more heavily populated areas closer to town
- removing landscaping where the project directly borders farm fields in situations where people who farm adjacent ground do not want additional vegetation competing with their crops
- designing project fencing and roads to accommodate wildlife movement and continued agricultural activities on-site
- light touch grading
What will be the visual impact of the project?
Visually, the solar panels will be shorter than farmhouses, barns, and grain bins. The panels will be surrounded by ag fencing and screened by thousands of new trees and shrubs, in addition to the extensive tree lines that already exist.
Stonefield Solar specifically has much less visual impact than other solar projects that have been proposed in the area. Any home within 700 feet of proposed solar panels already has extensive, existing tree lines buffering it from the project property, substantially minimizing viewshed impacts. Where these existing tree lines are patchy, we will enhance them with additional plantings as shown in the Landscape Plan that Stonefield Solar has submitted as part of its application to Hardin County.
Hardin County enjoys numerous scenic county roads. Stonefield will have no impact on these. The project does have road frontage along two highways: U.S. Highway 62 and Kentucky State Route 222. Solar panels will never be closer than 50 feet from the edge of the U.S. 62 right-of-way, and never closer than 100 feet from the edge of the Highway 222 right-of-way. In many areas along these highways, panels will be set back significantly further. A very large number of new trees and shrubs will be planted between the highways and the panels to screen the facility. These details are all shown in the Development Plan and Landscape Plan that Stonefield Solar has submitted as part of its application to Hardin County.
How does the sound of large solar projects impact nearby residential and agricultural property?
Solar projects passively convert sunlight into electricity, and are therefore effectively silent, except for the tracking motors and inverters that might produce an ambient hum that is typically inaudible beyond the project fence line. Stonefield Solar, LLC has provided a noise study as part of its application to Hardin County that substantiates the low noise level associated with the project during operations.
Will the solar panels be removed from the project site at the end of the project’s useful life?
Yes. The panels and other project equipment will be removed from the Stonefield Solar site at the end of the project’s life. This is a legally binding obligation that is already contained in the project’s signed real estate agreements and will also be contained in the permits Stonefield must secure from Hardin County and the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
But don’t just take our word for it – know that construction cannot begin until Stonefield Solar has posted a bond large enough to fully cover decommissioning costs. The amount of this bond will be determined by a decommissioning plan prepared by an independent, licensed engineer, and the amount will be recalculated every five years to ensure that it remains appropriate as economic conditions change. The bond must be held by an insurance or surety company that maintains at least an “Excellent” rating. These requirements were strengthened in Kentucky House Bill 4, which passed into law on March 30, 2023. A draft decommissioning plan has already been created and submitted as part of Stonefield Solar, LLC’s application to Hardin County.
Community members have expressed concern that old, broken, disconnected panels will be left on the property forever. We share the view that this would be unacceptable. It is good that the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Hardin County have taken strong, legally binding steps to ensure this does not happen, and we are happy to comply with the rigorous bonding obligations to ensure that no matter what happens, funding will be available to decommission the facility and remove its equipment.
Can the panels be recycled?
Yes. Solar panels contain valuable materials, and the market for recycling these materials is booming. It is expected to be worth $2.7 billion by 2030. Solar panel recycling facilities already exist and are expanding rapidly – one notable example is Solarcycle’s new recycling plant in Odessa TX.
Companies such as Solarcycle offer services that range from collecting, transporting, and recycling any panels that break during installation to full “wrap-around” contracts in which a single provider collects, transports, and recycles all panels that break during construction, that need to be replaced during operations, and that ultimately need to be decommissioned at the end of the project’s useful life.
While recycling is much preferred, solar panels from utility-scale solar power plants can also be sent to landfills because they are not considered hazardous waste. Tests have been done to confirm this, specifically the Environmental Protection Agency’s Method 1311 Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP). Stonefield will be able to provide documentation that its panels pass the EPA’s TCLP test.
The TCLP test consists of cutting samples from the four parts of a solar module: the cell, the cell ribbon, the string ribbon, and the rest (non-cell, non-ribbon). These are sent to a lab, which soaks and tumbles them in an acetic acid solution designed to promote leaching and then tests the solution for the presence of hazardous materials.
Are there toxic materials in solar panels?
Like many other everyday products – including cell phones, computers, televisions, and cars, of which there are hundreds of thousands in Hardin County – solar panels do contain trace amounts of tin-based solder, silver, and other materials that in their pure forms can be dangerous. However, when combined with the glass, aluminum, plastic, copper, and semiconductor materials that make up most of the mass of a solar panel, these materials are stable, contained, and non-hazardous – just as they are in many everyday products. The EPA’s TCLP test is the accepted method for proving this. Stonefield Solar will be able to provide documentation that its panels pass the TCLP, proving that any leaching would remain within the same non-hazardous ranges required of any other non-hazardous product.
The TCLP test examines panels for any hazardous leaching, and the methods used to extract these samples – including diamond bit drills, industrial water grinders, acetic acid leaching solutions, and tumbling – inflict much greater damage on the panels than is likely to occur naturally during their operational life.
Are there health risks from the electric and magnetic fields (EMF) from solar panels?
Operational solar panels produce no emissions, waste, odor, or byproducts. The extremely low frequency EMF from PV arrays and transmission lines is the same as the EMF people are exposed to from household electrical appliances and wiring in buildings.
What will be the lifespan of the project?
We expect the project to operate for up to 40 years. At the end of this period, the landowners will be able to return the land to traditional agriculture or use it for other purposes as they wish.
Where will the power go?
Power from the project will flow onto the local electric grid. Like water flowing to the lowest point, electricity generated by the product will serve local demand in the Hardin County area. The project team is working to finalize the execution of a long-term power purchase agreement with a large, local electricity consumer.
Will the project have an effect on the value of adjacent properties?
Large-scale solar arrays in rural settings can be developed responsibly to minimize impacts on the value of adjacent properties. Hardin County has rigorous regulations related to screening this type of facility, and the Kentucky Public Service Commission has additional regulations. Stonefield Solar will comply with these requirements by planting thousands of new trees and shrubs. Existing vegetation, a railway corridor, and the Vulcan Materials quarry provide a very strong existing base of buffer areas around the project.
Other types of development that could occur on the Stonefield Solar site, including expansion of the existing quarry, expansion of the County’s manufacturing base, or residential subdivisions would all have negative impacts on the value of adjacent properties. A number of neighbors have told the project team that solar is preferred to other types of more intensive, traffic-heavy, noise-producing land uses.
Some studies do claim to show that large solar facilities negatively impact property values, but these studies do not include consideration of existing site features – like Rhudes Creek and the Vulcan Materials Quarry – or proposed site design – like the thousands of new trees and shrubs that will be installed to further screen Stonefield Solar.
Why was this location chosen for the Stonefield Solar project?
This location was chosen because of the availability and quality of solar resource, proximity to the bulk power transmission system, proximity to transportation routes, topography, land use, limited sensitive ecological and cultural resources, and landowner interest.
Would the project increase stormwater runoff?
Controlling erosion and stormwater runoff is critical both to project operations and to downstream receptors. The project will be designed to control stormwater and minimize runoff and impacts downstream of the site. A detailed Stormwater Management Plan has been submitted as part of Stonefield Solar’s application to Hardin County and shows a net decrease in offsite runoff. In addition, extensive measures will be taken to ensure offsite water runoff is high quality and free of sediment. These measures include temporarily blocking and/or holding runoff during construction and filtering runoff with dense vegetation after construction.
Will the project cause glare?
Because solar panels generate energy by absorbing the sun’s rays, they are designed to reduce glare as much as possible. Additionally, because the trackers follow the sun through the day, most of the reflection that does occur will be directed back towards the sky rather than towards the ground or horizon. A glare study has been submitted as part of Stonefield Solar, LLC’s application to Hardin County.
How will the project affect local wildlife?
Many species of small animals and birds quickly return to the arrays after construction. Solar arrays are proving to be popular foraging and breeding grounds for a diverse group of animals. Advanced construction methods like pre-seeding, reduced grading, and topsoil preservation that will be implemented on Stonefield allow for the establishment of native grasses and other vegetation across the site. These grasses can provide critical nesting and foraging habitat for wildlife. The project has also been designed to maintain habitat connectivity by allowing wildlife to cross the project site.
The project is in an area with sinkholes and karst geology. Will the project create new sinkholes or affect existing sinkholes in the vicinity?
The project team has worked with karst and civil engineering experts to analyze the impact of the project on the local geology. Industry-standard geotechnical and geophysical investigations have been completed to specifically review and evaluate this karst geology. The project has been developed using engineering best-practices in hydrology and hydrogeology design to minimize and limit changes to the local geological conditions and karst environment. A detailed discussion of these topics is included in the Development Plan and Stormwater Management Plan that have been submitted as part of Stonefield Solar, LLC’s application to Hardin County.
Will the project affect the Hardin County water table?
No. The project will have strict measures in place to ensure that no construction activities impact the water table. As a passive technology, the operational project has minimal water requirements, so the project will not impact local well flow rates. The project is required by law to control stormwater and sediment runoff. In addition, the project will be re-vegetated after construction and use very little concrete, which reduces the volume and velocity of stormwater flow. These measures are detailed in the Development Plan and Stormwater Management Plan that have been submitted as part of Stonefield Solar, LLC’s application to Hardin County.
How many jobs will be created as a result of the project?
We have a strong preference for local labor and will work with our construction contractor to hire locally. The equivalent of about 200 full-time jobs will be created during construction of the project. These are construction jobs with low barrier to entry and a great opportunity for a transitioning workforce. During operations, there will be between 10 and 30 temporary jobs created to support vegetation management, snow removal, and other seasonal maintenance as needed. We expect most of this work will be contracted through local companies. The jobs will be family wage jobs that match local labor rates and pay commensurate with experience. There will be 2-3 permanent jobs for the operation and maintenance of the plant during its useful life. The project will also create numerous secondary economic benefits from increased demands for restaurants, suppliers, and other local businesses.