LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Gas & Electric and its sister Kentucky Utilities have signed up enough electronic customers to build two more sections of solar panels at their Solar Share farm along Interstate 64 in Simpsonville, Kentucky.

With the additional sections, the solar farm will reach half of its maximum capacity, or four of eight potential arrays that each produces 500 kilowatts of electricity.

“Reaching the site’s halfway point is a milestone we’re thrilled to be approaching and one we couldn’t have reached without our customers,” LG&E and KU Vice President of Customer Services Eileen Saunders said in a news release. “We developed this program in response to our customers’ increasing interest in supporting local solar generation and advancing their sustainability goals, and that desire continues to grow across a variety of our customer categories.”

LG&E and KU primarily get their electricity from coal, the dirtiest energy source in terms of planet-warming greenhouse gasses. They offer Solar Share as a voluntary way for business and residential customers to support renewable energy without installing their own solar panels.

Customers who opt into the program choose to increase their bills by a few dollars a month for each "share" of the electricity produced by the solar farm.

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Unlike with customer-owned solar panels, the Solar Share program will never save customers money relative to buying power at regular rates. But LG&E and KU stress the convenience the program offers those who can't afford their own solar panels or who don't even own a home.

LG&E and KU said more than 1,300 residential customers signed up for the next iteration of the program, along with business customers that include Louisville's Center for Women and Families, Louisville-based printing and fulfillment services company V.G. Reed & Sons and the Campbellsville division of global industrial services company Ingersoll Rand. 

Construction on the next two sections will begin in March and is expected to be completed by this summer.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.