Rivian is turning a giant coal mine into a mind-blowing new energy project that can power nearly 200,000 homes each year

Kentucky is getting a major green energy upgrade, courtesy of Rivian, BrightNight, and The Nature Conservancy.

Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer, is teaming up with renewable energy company BrightNight and environmental organization The Nature Conservancy to convert one of the biggest coal mines in the United States into a solar farm, according to Electrek.

The area, once known as Starfire Mine, will be transformed into the BrightNight Starfire Renewable Energy Center and will have an 800-megawatt capacity, which means it will be able to power over 170,000 households every year, per The Nature Conservancy.

Rivian has agreed to buy 100 megawatts of power from the plant, which will enable the company to power as many as 450 million miles of green driving in a given year. The first phase of construction will begin in 2025.

Shifting the world’s energy grids to clean energy like solar and wind power is one of the most important steps toward building a healthier future for the planet, as dirty energy sources like coal and petroleum create substantially more harmful emissions than clean energy, according to the American Geosciences Institute.

Converting existing energy infrastructure like Starfire into centers for clean energy makes for less of a disruption in local economies.

“Rivian is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking manufacturers in America, and we are proud that they have chosen BrightNight and the Starfire Renewable Energy Center to help achieve their sustainability goals,” BrightNight CEO Martin Hermann told The Nature Conservancy. “Together, we are transforming a coal mine, reinvesting in a region eager to continue its role as an energy leader, and demonstrating the incredible impact of corporate power procurement.”

“Shifting our energy system to carbon neutrality goes beyond electrifying the roughly 1.5 billion vehicles in the global fleet,” RJ Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian, added. “We must also support the decarbonization of our energy infrastructure through the responsible deployment of renewable energy.”

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