LG&E and KU Seek Approval to Create Community Solar Field

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Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities Company (KU) have requested permission from the Kentucky Public Service Commission (KPSC) to develop a community solar facility in Shelby County.

If approved, the subscription-based Solar Share Program would include construction of a regional facility for the utilities’ residential, business, and industrial customers interested in sharing in local solar energy and receiving solar energy credits generated from the facility. 

The proposed site along Interstate 64 in the KU service territory is large enough to accommodate a 4-MW solar field. The Solar Share project will be built in 500-kW sections based on customer interest. Construction will begin once a 500-kW section is 100 percent subscribed. Likewise, construction on the next section and those following will require 100 percent subscription before each section is built. 

The program will cater to customers who want solar power, but are unable to install it on their own property, or would prefer to avoid the costs and maintenance required for a private system.

“We continue to see an increased interest from our customers for renewable energy, and the Solar Share Program will make solar energy more accessible to customers,” said John P. Malloy, vice president of Customer Services. 

To participate in Solar Share, customers will be able to subscribe on a first-come, first-served basis to 250-watt increments of solar, also referred to as quarter-kilowatt increments, from the large solar facility that would serve the region.  

Depending on factors such as weather conditions and time of year, each 250-watt increment is expected to produce between 17 and 37 kWh of energy per month.

The cost of the program will include an initial, non-refundable subscription fee of $40, as well as a monthly fee of $6.29 per 250-watt increment.  

While the project must receive KPSC approval to proceed, LG&E and KU will maintain a list of customers who express interest in the future Solar Share Program.

Last month, LG&E and KU announced its selection of Kentucky-based company Solar Energy Solutions, LLC as its business partner in building and maintaining 30 kW to 5 MW of solar facilities for the utilities’ industrial and business customers interested in installing solar systems on their property. 

Additionally, in April the utilities launched Kentucky’s first universal solar facility at the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County. The 10-MW facility can produce enough energy to power up to 1,500 homes annually.

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