Kentucky commission approves Big Rivers solar projects

Published on April 03, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) recently approved a proposal by Big Rivers Electric Corp. to build and operate seven small solar facilities across its service territory.

According to Big Rivers’ application, the facilities would be used to test how well solar energy could be integrated into the grid and educate the public about solar energy.

The facilities would produce a total of 120 kilowatts (kW) and are expected to cost $500,000 with an annual operating cost of approximately $4,000.

Three electric distribution cooperatives, Jackson Purchase Energy Corp., Kenergy Corp. and Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. (Meade RECC), own and receive power from Big Rivers. Each of the member cooperatives will be billed for the power produced by the arrays within its service territory and may then provide the electricity to its retail customers subject to the cooperative’s rates and terms of service.

Big Rivers hopes to recover $125,000 of the cost through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program. If the company does not receive the grant, it said, it will reconsider whether to continue with the projects.

The facilities will be located at schools, park and other public facilities across Western Kentucky where they will be readily visible.