The Kentucky Conservation Committee works with solar nonprofits and solar industry allies on proactive and defensive legislation to assist the growth of solar energy in Kentucky.
While solar is the fastest growing segment of the energy sector, it is also facing considerable threats to its growth.
Solar energy offers enormous economic opportunities for Kentucky. It is a technology that can be deployed on rooftops throughout the state, benefiting homeowners, businesses, and industry, while potentially creating thousands of jobs and new manufacturing opportunities. Numerous studies from around the country, including the US Department of Energy, have shown that net metering benefits all customers, but utilities aren’t recognizing these benefits.
Lexington, Kentucky signed on to a special initiative called “Solarize Kentucky” which provides bulk purchasing discounts to certain customers looking to purchase residential solar. In 2019, the Lexington “Solarize” program incentivized approximately 25 new installations of residential solar, doubling the solar homes in Fayette County. If you are interested in setting up a “Solarize” program for your community, the U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has guidance at this link for setting up your own program. Link to solarize guidebook here.
- Net Metering
- Renewable Portfolio Standards
- Feed-In Tarrifs
- Solar Production Tax Credits
- Solar Storage
- Community Solar
- Solar for Low-Income Housing
- Key Points about Solar Energy in Kentucky
- NREL Clean Energy Solutions and Solar Power Policy Overview
- SEIA Initiatives and Advocacy
- NREL Rooftop Solar Potential for Low-to-Moderate Income Households Across the US
- Low Income Solar Resources
- Low Income Solar Policy Guide
- Google’s “Project Sunroof” solar mapping site HERE.
- HOMES Inc. Solar Project
Grassroots Advocacy Resources:
Solar Legislation from the 2019 Session:
Media on SB100:
- Energy, Solar Debates in Frankfort Leave Citizens in the Cold and Dark, Herald Leader, March 22, 2019
- Who Gets to Harness the Power of the Sun in Kentucky? WVXU, March 18, 2019
Other Solar Media
- Toyota Plans Major Solar Array in the Ohio Valley, WFPL, March 2019
Solar Legislation from the 2018 Session:
Solar Legislation From the 2017 Session:
Information on issues relating to SB214 (KCC Strong Oppose):
Kentucky Senate Bill 214 was a bill filed near the very end of the 30 day session that would have effectively eliminated net metering and restrict Kentucky’s growing independent solar energy industry. While the solar industry is surging in other states – employment in the US solar industry grew by 25% last year and now exceeds 260,000 workers – this bill would shut down home-grown solar growth in Kentucky.
Articles on SB214:
“Kentucky Solar Industries Association says it is under siege in Frankfort,” Lane Report, 2/27/17
“State Senator ‘Shocked’ by Solar Bill Pushback,” Courier-Journal, 2/28/17
In 2015, the US Solar Market set a new record, installing 7.3GW of Solar PV, which was larger than natural gas in capacity additions.
Source: GTM Research / SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight report
Potential in Kentucky on Abandoned Mine Lands?
With over 500 mountains in Appalachia that have been reduced through mountaintop mining, there may be potential in Kentucky for new energy at these sites. The EPA has examples of where legacy mines sites have been used for solar installations.