Solar energy program seeing success in Kentucky – Spectrum News 1

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — After two years of being homeowners, vibrant light fixtures now illuminate Erin Camac and her husband Chris’s home and it’s all powered by the solar panels on top of their house. 

What You Need To Know

  • Solarize Kentucky is the initiative connecting homeowners to solar energy options
  • A couple in Lexington have joined the movement and say it’s given them a lot of peace of mind
  • The Kentucky Solar Energy Society reports that 166 households in Kentucky installed solar panels in 2023

The couple also use a Tesla power wall that is a rechargeable battery that stores solar energy to power their home.

“It’ll tell us if it thinks a storm is coming or if it knows a storm is coming and will store power in the power wall and anticipate the fact that there may be an outage,” Erin said. 

For the last year, the couple has been among the 76 households in Lexington working with the Kentucky Solar Energy Society and Solar Energy Solutions to “solarize Kentucky” using a grant program to get solar power in more homes.

The initiative with the Kentucky Solar Energy Society started in 2022 and launched officially in 2023. The movement was inspired by a Louisville campaign and has since grown to Lexington Frankfort and Boyle County this year. 

“Most of our power here in Kentucky, even in Lexington, comes from coal,” Erin said. 

The two say it’s a greener method of power overall, and they also expect to see a return on the financial value of their home in the future.

Solar Energy Solutions and the Kentucky Solar Energy Society are leading cities across the state towards greener options that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Spectrum News 1/Sabriel Metcalf)

Chris says using the panels and power wall has left them with fewer concerns.

“Our home is entirely electric, the heating, everything. We don’t have any other form of energy that can get to the house. So having a backup for that, you know, during the winter, whatever it is that we need it for, it’s a really good peace of mind,” Chris said. 

Solar Energy Solutions offers alternative energy-saving options for Kentuckians, including free charging stations for electric vehicles in Lexington.

“Esthetically, it’s very nice,” said Jeffrey Nazarko, vice president of Solar Energy Solutions. “This is a commercial panel, but this is the type of panel that our customers will typically see on a home. It’s black on black, so it blends into the home quite well. And, you know, this will provide power for 30-plus years,” Nazarko explained. 

Anywhere from five to 20 panels can help power up a home depending on the user’s preference. 

Nazarko says people are looking to offset future electricity costs and more.

“So we’re seeing, you know, cities looking to decrease the costs of operation and increase the quality of, you know, energy and essentially emission reduction as part of their overall sustainability plans,” he said. 

Nazarko says their outreach has grown tremendously in the last few years.

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