Solar Energy

Published on June 2nd, 2020 | by greentechheadlines

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Kentucky residents and businesses help build pollinator-friendly community solar array –

Kentucky residents and businesses help build pollinator-friendly community solar array –

Louisville
Gas and Electric (LG&E) and KU Energy, alongside customers, are expanding
renewable energy generation in Kentucky by adding more locally grown solar
energy to the grid.

The company
recently completed the second 500-kW section at its Solar Share facility in
Simpsonville. With the addition of the new 1,300-panel array, participating
customers are now able to use the solar energy generated from the 1-MW solar array.

The subscription-based
Solar Share Program is available to the utilities’ residential, business and
industrial customers who want to support solar energy for 20 cents a day.

When energy
is produced by the facility, customers earn credits on their monthly bills
based on their subscription level and they can also select a gifting option to
transfer monthly Solar Share bill credits to another recipient. Via community
solar projects like this, customers get the benefits of solar energy without
the up-front cost and long-term maintenance that come with installing a private
solar system.

Centre
College is the first educational institution subscribing to the program and Kentucky
Habitat for Humanity (KYHF) is using the gifting option to benefit some of the
organization’s clients. KYHF is transferring credits from 185 shares of the
program to 10 families across the state, with a goal to offset as much as 30%
of the families’ monthly energy usage.

A total of
eight 500-kW Solar Share sections are planned for the Simpsonville facility, to
make a 4-MW project. Construction is completed as each section becomes fully
subscribed.

Pollinator
friendly

LG&E and
KU’s Solar Share property is one of several that will be home to future
pollinator habitats, which attract and support native bees, honeybees and
monarch butterflies. Benefits of pollinator habitats include beautifying the
landscape, supporting grassland birds, reducing water runoff and soil erosion,
reduced maintenance costs and educational opportunities.

Other
pollinator habitats are being installed at the company’s Cane Run and retired
Tyrone station properties and E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County.
Also, a flock of 25 Shetland sheep has been added at Brown’s 10-MW universal
solar site. The flock aims to help manage vegetation across the 50-acre
property at Brown, reducing maintenance costs.

“We created the Solar Share program because
our customers expressed an interest in supporting local renewables and their
increasing participation shows not only is the interest still there, but it’s
on the rise,” said Eileen Saunders, LG&E and KU vice president-Customer
Services. “Kentucky Habitat for Humanity and Centre College are among the
nearly 700 customers choosing to subscribe to the second section.”

“The creative way we’re using this
program is enabling us to further empower low-income families and ensure they
have a decent and affordable place to call home,” said KYHFH Executive Director
Mary Shearer.

Related Coverage:

The
buzz: state pollinator-friendly solar initiatives

12-MW
“bee friendly” solar farm coming soon to University of Illinois

Can
Solar Energy Save the Bees?


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