New 125-megawatt solar facility planned for Kentucky

LG&E and KU recently filed contracts with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to provide renewable energy to five major organizations in the utilities’ service territories. The contracts – with the University of Kentucky, North American Stainless, the University of Louisville, Chemours and Dow – will supply the entities with solar energy from a 125-megawatt solar facility to be built in western Kentucky.

The filing is made up of five separate renewable power agreements (RPAs) and is the result of each organization’s participation in LG&E and KU’s Green Tariff Option 3. The offering is one of LG&E and KU’s ongoing efforts to enhance renewable options for residential, commercial and industrial customers to help meet their various renewable energy goals. The utilities’ Green Tariff rolls the LG&E and KU Green Energy and Business Solar programs under one tariff and provides a third option – the “Renewable Power Agreement” – for customers interested in purchasing renewable power.

The contracts and the resulting solar facility:

  • continue LG&E and KU’s advancement of RPAs with major organizations that began in 2020
  • rank among the largest solar projects planned for Kentucky, and
  • demonstrate a substantial commitment to sustainable energy by some of the commonwealth’s most prominent companies and educational institutions.

Based on the agreements, the utilities will supply UK with 44% of the facility’s energy output, the biggest portion of its generation. North American Stainless will be served with 36% output from the facility. The University of Louisville and Chemours will each be supplied with 8% of the generation. Dow, which has already committed to receiving 25% of the energy output from a separate facility as part of a 2020 RPA, will receive 4% of the output from the new facility.

Renewable-power provider BrightNight – the winning bidder – will build the solar facility in McCracken County, near Paducah. LG&E and KU will purchase the power from that facility. The new facility is expected to be completed by 2025.

Facility costs are covered solely by the RPA participants receiving the energy through 20-year contract agreements. There is no cost to other LG&E or KU customers, who will not receive energy from the facility.

Through partnerships like these and sustainable efforts across their business, LG&E and KU continue to demonstrate their commitment to advancing a renewable energy future and empowering their customers and communities to do the same. LG&E and KU have adopted a goal to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions across their business operations to net zero by 2050 with interim targets of 70% reduction from 2010 levels by 2035 and an 80% reduction by 2040.

BrightNight is the first renewable integrated power company designed to provide utility and commercial and industrial customers with clean, dispatchable renewable power solutions. BrightNight works with customers across the U.S. and Asia Pacific to design, develop, and operate safe, reliable, large-scale, hybrid renewable power projects optimized to better manage the intermittent nature of renewable energy. Its deep customer engagement process, team of proven power experts, and industry-leading prices empower customers to overcome challenging energy sustainability standards, rapidly changing grid dynamics, and the transition away from fossil fuel generation.