Bring on the sun power: Kentucky's largest universal solar facil - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bring on the sun power: Kentucky's largest universal solar facility unveiled

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Your home could be powered by the sun. LG&E has taken a big step in churning out energy using solar power. 

In hilly central Kentucky, dirt and bluegrass are being turned into renewable energy. In total, 50 acres will be covered in solar panels. It is the largest universal solar facility in Kentucky, and part of it is already up and running. "We have about 13,000 of the 45,000 panels installed. About 25 percent of them are live now. We, within 3 weeks, should have all the panels installed," said Scott Straight, Director of Project Engineering with LG&E.

The E.W. Brown Generation Station is about an hour and a half southeast of Louisville. The plant already uses coal, natural gas and water to make energy. Now, it is adding the sun's power. The goal is to have the whole project fully operational by June. LG&E says the solar panels will be able to provide energy for about 1,500 homes in one year. "Our customers are wanting more and more diverse fuel source, including renewables," said Straight.

"Our Brown generating station with coal, hydro, natural gas and now solar, will stand as a symbol of our evolving generation portfolio," said Paul W. Thompson, Chief Operating Officer at LG&E.

It is called a "universal solar facility" because the energy goes into "the grid" and spreads out, serving all customers. LG&E leaders say you will not know if your house is powered by the sun.

While it is a cleaner resource, solar can be a costly investment. However, LG&E says you should not notice a change in your utility bill. "It is nominally around the same costs as what we're seeing elsewhere. It's not really affecting the customers' utility bill," said Jeff Heun, Manager of Capital Projects with LG&E.

This is a test facility for LG&E to see how solar does. There are not any immediate plans to build more facilities like this in the near future. The final price tag will come in under $36 million.

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