(The Center Square) – A Kentucky utility company filed paperwork with the state’s Public Service Commission revealing five of its largest customers will receive renewable energy from a solar facility slated for the Paducah area.
Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU), owned by Pennsylvania-based PPL Corp., filed renewable power agreements it reached with the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, North American Stainless, The Chemours Co. and Dow.
While the cost of the project was not revealed, the Louisville-based energy provider said the 125-megawatt facility will be one of the largest solar plants in the state best known for its coal production.
LG&E-KU issued a solicitation earlier this year for a solar provider and eventually chose BrightNight to build the facility in McCracken County in far western Kentucky.
Under the agreements, those customers will exclusively get energy from the facility expected to be operational by 2025. Those companies also have agreed to cover all costs associated with the plant as part of the 20-year deals each signed.
David Sinclair, a vice president of energy supply and analysis for LG&E-KU, said the utility company is committed to providing options for its customers that want to utilize renewable energy.
“We’re committed to providing cost-effective, innovative options that carefully integrate renewable sources into the system and enhance the economic vitality of Kentucky while also maintaining the safe, reliable service our customers depend on,” Sinclair said.
The University of Kentucky will receive the largest share at 44%.
UK Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday said in a statement that the partnership with LG&E-KU benefits the entire state as it helps boost sustainable energy production statewide.
North American Stainless will get 36%. The company operates a steel mill in Ghent, an Ohio River community roughly halfway between Louisville and Cincinnati.
The Chemours Co., which operates a chemical plant in Louisville, and the University of Louisville will each get 8% of the energy produced.
UofL President Neeli Bendapudi said in a statement that will cover 15 percent of the school’s electricity needs and nearly a third of what it needs for its main campus.
“This alone will cut our greenhouse gas emissions by another 9% from 2020 levels, advancing our efforts to shrink the university’s carbon footprint to zero by 2050,” she said.