solar

LG&E Proposes Largest Solar Field In Kentucky

Jan 27, 2020
Duke Energy

Louisville Gas and Electric is seeking approval from state utility regulators to build the largest solar array in Kentucky.

If approved, the 100-megawatt plant in Hardin County would be one of at least four utility-scale projects coming online in Kentucky in the next three years. The project would be 10 times larger than the current title holder, a 10-megawatt LG&E facility near Harrodsburg.

The push for more solar in Kentucky follows a countrywide trend as utilities increasingly turn to renewables for new electricity generation.

 


Ryan Van Velzer

Louisville’s largest solar project is now generating power for holiday shoppers.

Mall St. Matthews in Louisville unveiled more than 1,400 solar panels on its rooftops Wednesday. The project comes two years to the day after Brookfield Properties announced its first solar project on the Oxmoor Center.

Together, the two projects amount to the state’s largest commercial installation supplying enough solar energy to power 134 homes every year, said Steve Ricketts, Solar Energy Solutions general manager and project installer.


Gray Watson/Creative Commons

Kentucky utility regulators held their first public meeting over the future of solar power in the state on Tuesday.

Thanks to a new state law, the Kentucky Public Service Commission is reviewing the state’s net-metering rules, which set the value rooftop solar customers receive from utilities for the excess power they put back on the energy grid.

Right now, if you have solar panels on your home you receive a credit for the retail value of the power you put back on the grid.

Gray Watson/Creative Commons

Beth Nahinsky wants to reduce her reliance on fossil fuels. That’s why she was planning to buy solar panels for her home in the Tyler Park neighborhood in Louisville.

Then a tree fell on her house and the money Nahinsky saved instead went to repairing the roof. Now, she doesn’t think she can afford the solar panels.

And the timing is unfortunate. Starting next year, it will be more expensive for Kentuckians to install solar panels on their homes.

LG&E

With the latest rate hike, Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities customers will help pick up the tab for membership dues at trade groups that lobby against environmental protections.

Whether customers like it or not, LG&E’s natural monopoly guarantees that everyone buying service in their territory will pay into these trade groups, even if those groups lobby against customers’ own interests.

Kentucky Rooftop Solar Bill Heads To Governor

Mar 15, 2019
Erica Peterson

Kentucky lawmakers have placed the future of rooftop solar in the hands of state regulators, changing how homeowners and small businesses receive compensation for the excess power they produce.

Late Thursday night, House representatives stripped Senate Bill 100 of protections favored by the state’s rooftop solar industry before adopting it in a 55 to 36 vote. The measure now moves to the governor’s office for a signature.

Rooftop solar installers and advocates say the measure will slow the growth of solar in the state and give large utilities the upper hand in cornering the market on solar energy production.

Toyota

The automaker Toyota announced Thursday major new investments in facilities in Kentucky and West Virginia to increase production of hybrid vehicles. Toyota plans to invest about $750 million in facilities in five states with almost half of that going to its plants in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Toyota’s plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, already the largest Toyota facility in the world, will get a $238 million boost.

“It gives me much pleasure to announce that beginning in May, TMMK will begin producing the Lexus ES 300 Hybrid,” said Susan Elkington, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky.

Rebecca Kiger

Far from the ocean and Puerto Rico’s famous beaches, narrow roads wind into mountains not unlike the country roads of our home, West Virginia. After hours of driving we reach a rural community in the island’s center called Tetuan Tres. Like so many places in rural Appalachia, you don’t come here accidentally.

We’ve come to learn more about how families here are recovering from natural disaster, and what it might teach us about the ways West Virginia communities can cope with devastating floods.


Another Kentucky Utility Adds Solar To Its Mix

Apr 26, 2018
Duke Energy

Duke Energy is the latest major utility to begin experimenting with solar power in Kentucky.

It was just two years ago that Louisville Gas and Electric opened the largest utility-scale solar array in the state.

Now, Duke Energy is testing solar power in Northern Kentucky. The utility unveiled two solar farms this week that combined, use approximately 29,000 solar panels.

The two facilities in Kenton and Grant counties are already creating enough energy to power about 1,500 homes, said Lee Freedman, Duke Energy spokesman.

Vectren

The Evansville energy company that serves 145,000 customers in southwestern Indiana has released a transition plan that phases out most coal-fired power and replaces it with natural gas and solar.

Vectren says its plan will reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent by retiring three coal-fired plants and retrofitting one remaining coal unit so it's in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Gray Watson/Creative Commons

Kentucky lawmakers are once again considering changing the state’s net metering rules, which allow people to sell electric utilities the extra energy generated from household solar panels or windmills.

Currently, electric utilities are required to buy back excess energy produced by customers at the same price sold to customers. Kentucky lawmakers considered a bill earlier this year that would have allowed utilities to get approval to buy back the energy at lower rates.

Picturing The Future: A Coal Community’s Comeback

Jan 2, 2017
Rebecca Kiger

Can a photograph help a community grow? One photographer is shedding some light on ongoing efforts in a region looking for some new ways to sustain itself.

Rebecca Kiger is a documentary and portrait photographer born and raised in West Virginia. The images she captures are often exceptionally emotionally evocative. She says it takes a lot of patience, and a little faith in both her process and her subjects.

“You have to imagine anything’s possible,” Kiger said while mousing over some of her recent images at her studio in Wheeling, West Virginia. “It allows these magical things to happen in the frame.”

Solar Company To Bring 30 Jobs To Edmonson County

Apr 10, 2012

Taggart Solar, LLC plans to locate a new manufacturing facility in the Edmonson County Industrial Park in Edmonson County in a 10,000 square foot leased building. The company's $440,000 capital investment will create 30 new jobs.