The Kentucky Coal Museum in Benham, KY, spends $2,100 a month on electricity; to save money, they’re putting in 80 solar panels, which will save them $8,000/year.
When Southeastern Kentucky Community and Technical College — who owns the museum — contacted Bluegrass Solar about getting the panels installed, the owner, Tre Sexton, thought they were joking. He said, "Really the first time that I sat down and was talking about it with everybody, I was like… are you for real? They’re really going to go for this?"
The college’s communications director, Brandon Robinson, says that despite the installation, "coal is still king around here."
The Benham, Kentucky, museum is central to some of the most important coal mines in the US past and present. The museum contains a “state of the art underground coal mine” exhibit, which you can see by appointment, as well as a two-ton block of coal next to which visitors can have their picture taken. There are exhibits about early coal mining tools as well as a photography collection documenting the history of mining in the area. The third floor of the museum houses a portion of the personal music collection of country music singer Loretta Lynn, who sang “The Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
To save money, Kentucky Coal Museum turns to solar panels [Megan Geuss/Ars Technica]
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