Solar power in Kentucky

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Solar power in Kentucky has been growing in recent years due to new technological improvements and a variety of regulatory actions and financial incentives, particularly a 30% federal tax credit, available through 2016, for any size project. Kentucky could generate 10% of all of the electricity used in the United States from land cleared from coal mining in the state. Covering just one-fifth with photovoltaics would supply all of the state's electricity.[1]

The Berea Solar Farm is a community solar farm, which opened with 60 235-watt solar panels (14.1 kW).[2] All of the available panels sold out in four days.[3]

A 2 MW single axis tracking solar farm began operation in 2011 in Bowling Green.[4][5] As of 2011, the largest system on any farm in the state was the 100.32 kW array completed on November 1, 2011, in Fancy Farms.[6] The first hospital in the state to use solar power is Rockcastle Regional Hospital in Mt. Vernon, which installed a 60.9 kW array on the roof in November, 2011.[7]

In 2015, Fort Campbell installed a 1.9MW solar farm that provides 10% of the electricity used by the base.[8]

Kentucky's only maker of solar panels is Alternative Energy Kentucky.[9]

Net metering[edit]

Kentucky has a net metering program that allows installations of up to 30 kW of on-site electrical generation to continuously roll over any excess generation to the next month. Participation is limited to 1% of utilities peak demand the prior year.[10] The Kentucky Solar Energy Society is lobbying to increase the limit, noting that 17 states allow at least 2 MW capacity to use net metering.[11] Three states have no limit - Arizona, New Jersey, and Ohio.[12] Rhode Island has a 5 MW limit,[13] and New Mexico has a limit of 80 MW.[14]


Kentucky has an average of about 4.5 sun hours per day, similar to Germany which is at 4.8 sun hours per day.[15] [16]

Source: NREL[17]

Installed capacity[edit]

Kentucky Grid-Connected PV Capacity (MW)[18][19][20][21][22]
Year Capacity Installed % Change
2010 0.2 0.2
2011 3.3 3.0 1550%
2012 4.8 1.5 45%
2013 7.9 3.2 68%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Can Coal Mines Become Solar Farms?
  2. ^ Berea Solar Farm
  3. ^ Berea (KY) Solar Farm Sells Out
  4. ^ Solar installations in Kentucky
  5. ^ Bowling Green To Have $6M, 10-Acre Solar Farm
  6. ^ Willet Farm's Press Release
  7. ^ Kentucky's First Solar-Powered Hospital
  8. ^ Fort Campbell solar array completed, ClarksvilleNow, September 21, 2015
  9. ^ Company says the future of solar panels in Ky. is bright
  10. ^ "Kentucky - Net Metering". Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  11. ^ Net Metering
  12. ^ Net Metering as a Business Retention Tool
  13. ^ Rhode Island - Net Metering
  14. ^ New Mexico - Net Metering
  15. ^ Can the sun power your Kentucky home?
  16. ^ "Solar Energy". 
  17. ^ "PV Watts". NREL. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  18. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2011" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  19. ^ Sherwood, Larry (June 2011). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2010" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 20. Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  20. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2009). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  21. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2012" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2013-10-11. 
  22. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2014). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2013" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2014-09-26. 

External links[edit]