An electric vehicle rival to Tesla will help spur a $1bn green energy project that aims to be among the largest to transform a former US coal mining site.

Rivian – which supplies electric vans to, and is backed by, Amazon – is among partners planning the Starfire Renewable Energy Centre in Kentucky, which eventually plans to deploy 800MW of capacity.

Rivian, led by founder and CEO RJ Scaringe, has signed a power deal to take electricity from the 100MW solar first phase of the project, which will be advanced by developer BrightNight and is due in service in 2025, it was announced today (Wednesday).

Starfire was formerly one of America’s biggest coalmines and the project includes a transmission line that will allow an additional 1GW of renewable power to be built in the future, the partners said.

BrightNight CEO Martin Hermann said of the project, which also includes environmental non-profit 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."