Of all buildings to run on renewable energy, a museum dedicated to coal wouldn’t immediately come to mind.
The building is owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. The move has been described as “a little ironic” by the college’s communications director, Brandon Robinson, and by former state Rep. Roger Noe.
The Associated Press wondered if it was merely “a sign of our times.”
Robinson told WYMT that the college expects to save $8,000 to $10,000 a year on energy costs.
According to a town website, Benham, in Harlan County, Kentucky, describes itself as “the little town that International Harvester, coal miners and their families built!”
A former coal camp town, Benham once had a population of 3,000, according to the Associated Press, and now has about 500 residents.
The museum is dedicated to “the life of a coal miner and his family as they struggled to make a life for themselves not knowing how valuable their contributions were to the industrialization of the 20th century.”