JULIAN, W.Va. (WOWK) — What was once West Virginia’s largest coal mining site will become the state’s largest solar field.

The 5,800-acre former Hobet Mine site along Lincoln and Boone counties will be developed into a solar field with mixed-use purposes including industry, lodging, recreation and hospitality.

SunPark, a 3,000-acre, 250-megawatt solar panel field to be established by SEVA WV, is being announced Monday. The solar park is an estimated $320 million investment that will create 250 to 300 construction jobs with an average $30 per hour wage.

(Photo courtesy of WV Press Association)

This is SEVA WV’s first major project, which will be led by Marion County native Devanna Corley.

“I am inspired by the blank canvas presented in Boone and Lincoln counties,” Corely said. “There is a real opportunity to bring new business, grow population, develop tourism, and teach our children about the importance of renewable energy.”

SEVA WV is part of Savion Energy, a Shell company established in 2019. Rod Northway, Savion Senior Vice President of Development, said the company is looking forward to investing millions into an area dramatically impacted by the downturn of the coal industry.

“Savion is excited to be a part of the SunPark development, and the opportunity the coal-to-solar project represents for Boone and Lincoln counties and the people of West Virginia,” Northway said.

SEVA WV’s investment was highly praised by Mountain State leaders, including Gov. Jim Justice, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

“The State of West Virginia looks forward to supporting this very important project that will have a dynamic impact in Boone and Lincoln Counties and beyond,” Justice said.

“Investing in West Virginia’s rural communities creates good-paying jobs and spurs economic growth in the region and across the state,” Manchin said. “I am pleased by the continued investments in our communities and will work with SEVA WV to further economic development opportunities across the Mountain State.”

“This is an exciting day for Boone and Lincoln Counties, there is incredible opportunities in our communities,” Capito said. “I would like to commend SEVA WV and this endeavor to create the SunPark that will boost our economy and expand the region for future economic development activity.”