2016 was the first year that solar panel installations appeared in Kentucky with significant utility scale projects. There was also a decent amount of commercial installations along with utility solar in 2017. There’s now a total of 43 megawatts of installed solar capacity as of 2018, which is enough power for about 5,000 homes and brings the state to a ranking of 44th. Moving forward, all sectors are expecting solar growth in the coming years.
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Here are some key numbers about its solar activity to date;*
- About 3 megawatts of solar capacity was added in the state in 2018. This gave it a ranking of 45th for that year.
- There are 56 solar companies in the state, which are responsible for employing 1,410 people.
- The state has invested $7 million into solar projects in 2018. $75 million is now the cumulative investment for solar.
- Prices for solar in the state have dropped 47 percent over the past 5 years.
A couple of the larger solar installations to date in the state are the Cooperative Solar One project and the Crittenden Solar Facility. Their sizes are 8.5 and 2 megawatts, respectively. Combined, this is enough solar capacity for more than 1,000 homes.*
Kentucky currently does not have a renewable portfolio standard. However, according to energy.ky.gov, there is proposed legislation that calls for the state to provide 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.**
The net metering policy in Kentucky states that customers are to be compensated for their excess electricity at the retail rate. System sizes are allowed to be as large as 30 kilowatts.**
There are about 25 solar installers now operating in the state. They can be found in Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Richmond, Bowling Green, Somerset, Corbin, London, and Ashland to name a few. Residential solar installations are certainly on the rise in the state.
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*Information and figures gathered from seia.org.
**Information and figures gathered from dsireusa.org.
***Information and figures gathered from energy.ky.gov.