Sheep return to LG&E, KU solar facility

A flock of about 200 sheep graze on the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County, Kentucky during the spring and summer months to keep the vegetation short. (Photo courtesy of LG&E/KU website)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some four-legged animals are back to work on the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County for the spring. 

Since 2020, Shetland and Katadin sheep have been roaming and eating grass on the 50-acre solar facility in Harrodsburg, southeast of Lexington. What started out as 25 sheep in the flock has grown to 200 sheep.

"By using sheep rather than lawnmowers, what we’re doing here is both more environmentally friendly and helps manage expenses by keeping maintenance costs down," Aron Patrick, director of Research and Development at LG&E and KU parent company PPL Corporation, said in a news release Wednesday. "We also hope our unique approach can be a model for other utilities and their solar initiatives."

The sheep graze on a special seed mix of 64 Kentucky native plants and wildflowers. The flock is tended by farm managers at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, where the sheep stay at in the winter months.

People have a chance to catch the sheep "mowing" online via a live stream, or you can read about Levi the Lamb in a book published by LG&E and KU in 2022. The book is sold at Shaker Village or online, and all proceeds go to Shaker Village. 

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