Aug 2, 2016
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company requested permission from the Kentucky Public Service Commission today to develop a “community” solar facility in Shelby County.
If approved, the subscription-based Solar Share Program would include constructing 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 site, along Interstate 64 in the KU service territory near LG&E, is large enough to accommodate a 4 megawatt (DC) solar field. However, Solar Share will be built in 500-kilowatt sections based on customer interest. Construction will begin once a 500-kilowatt section is 100 percent subscribed. Likewise, construction on the next section and those following will require 100 percent subscription before each section is built.
This type of program is ideal for 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. It’s especially appealing for renters, those with properties predominantly in the shade and those who have deed restrictions.
“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 kilowatt-hours of energy per month. For context, a typical residential household uses approximately 1,000 kWh of electricity each month.
The cost of the program would include an initial, non-refundable subscription fee of $40, as well as a monthly fee of $6.29, per 250-watt increment. For example, a customer who subscribes to two increments of solar would pay an initial subscription fee of $80 and a monthly fee of $12.58. Customers would then receive a credit on their monthly bill for the solar energy generated based on their subscription.
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. Interested customers should complete the online interest form. There are no obligations to participate until after the regulatory process is complete, at which time customers would decide if they would like to complete the enrollment process with the utilities and pay their non-refundable subscription fee.
This new offering complements the utilities’ efforts to grow solar energy in Kentucky. Just 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 kilowatts to 5 megawatts solar facilities for the utilities’ industrial and business customers who are 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 megawatt facility has the capability to produce enough energy to power up to 1,500 homes annually using an average 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.
Visit lge-ku.com/solar to learn more about LG&E and KU’s efforts to grow solar energy in Kentucky.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve nearly 1.3 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 322,000 natural gas and 403,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 546,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.