Council Supports Solar Power in Coal-Centric Louisville

Will you be our next sustaining member?Donate

Council Supports Solar Power in Coal-Centric Louisville

The number of solar-powered homes and businesses reached 189 in the Kentucky city this year.

(AP Photo/Brian Bohannon)

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

The number of solar-powered homes and businesses in Louisville has grown rapidly in the last three years, at a 70 percent rate from 111 in 2012 to 189 this year. The Courier-Journal reports that though the number is still relatively small, it shows great progress since 2008, when only two solar-powered homes or businesses were reported by Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E).

And solar is also gaining support from public officials. Last week, the Louisville Metro Council passed a resolution in support of solar power, and is considering an ordinance that would help with solar energy financing.

“Over 30 states have done this, and progressive states and communities have made this work, and I think we should, too,” said one council member, who’s also pushing solar-powered street lighting.

Advocates for solar power in Louisville hope to engage younger people in what has traditionally been a big coal state.

“I think it’s kind of sexy to be able to create your own energy on your own property,” Colleen Crum, co-chair of a council committee coordinating the Solar Over Louisville campaign, told the Courier-Journal. “There is a personal pride to say you are doing the right thing.”

Despite the city’s progress, it still ranks last of the 50 biggest cities for solar’s value to customers, according to a report from North Carolina State University. The region’s history with coal-powered electricity is a major barrier to overcome for solar policy. Nonetheless, the council’s solar power resolution is a big step toward new energy policies.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about the math, and getting the math to add up,” Maria Koetter, the city’s sustainability director, told the Courier-Journal. “That’s harder due to our historically cheap energy.”

Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.

Follow Marielle .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: energysolar powerlouisville

×
Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×
×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 770 other sustainers such as:

  • ROBIN at $120/Year
  • David in Eatontown, NJ at $5/Month
  • Damian at $10/Month

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    The 21 Best Solutions of 2021 special edition magazine

  • Donate $40 or $10/Month

    Brave New Home by Diana Lind