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With both residential and business customers increasingly expressing a desire to participate in renewable energy programs that support renewable generation in their communities and help meet their sustainability goals, LG&E and KU have created and continue to expand their portfolio of renewable energy programs.
In February 2019, LG&E and KU issued a request for proposals for up to 200 megawatts of renewable energy that could potentially grow the utilities’ renewable energy portfolio and help attract businesses with sustainability goals.
Separately, the utilities officially cut the ribbon on the first 500-kilowatt section of the new Solar Share facility in Simpson- ville, Kentucky, in July 2019. The subscription-based Solar Share Program is a cost-effective option available to residential, business and industrial customers who want to support solar energy. When energy is produced by the facility, customers earn credits on their monthly bills based on their subscription level, enabling them to reap the benefits from solar energy without the up-front cost and long-term maintenance that come when installing a private solar system. The program’s first 1,400-panel array reached full subscription thanks to participation from founding partner Ford Motor Company and about 300 other participating business and residential customers.
“This is another example of how utilities, including LG&E and KU, are investing in the future of the commonwealth and growing locally-produced renewable energy,” said former Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely. “These technologies are making our state a leading contender to retain and attract new business and meet the growing demands for a diverse energy future.”
In addition to Solar Share, LG&E and KU’s Business Solar offering marked a milestone of its own in 2019, announcing a partnership with Maker’s Mark, one of the world’s leading bourbon producers, in its commitment to sustainable energy. Through the partner- ship, KU constructed a new 560-panel solar array that will produce about 268,000 kWh per year at the bourbon distillery’s property in Loretto, Kentucky. The energy production will offset the energy required to maintain the distillery’s rickhouses where bourbon is stored for aging. This includes energy for security, lighting, barrel elevators and office spaces.