Solar Over Louisville ranked the third largest solarize campaign in the U.S. in 2022; program will relaunch in 2023

December 14, 2022

The Solar Over Louisville solarize campaign, a partnership between Louisville Metro Government and the Louisville Sustainability Council (LSC), was an overwhelming success in 2022. In total, 92 property owners signed contracts to install solar panels on their homes and small businesses, making it the largest solar project in Louisville and the third largest solarize campaign in the country this year.

“Fighting the effects of climate change takes buy-in from everyone – government, nonprofits, businesses and residents. Louisville Metro Government is proud to lead by example, setting goals and investing in sustainable energy, as well as offering programs such as Solar Over Louisville that make it easier for others to make the leap,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “We are excited by the interest Solar Over Louisville received this year and look forward to continuing the program in the coming years as we strive to meet our sustainability goals.”

Collectively, these solar arrays will represent $2.8 million of local investment in solar and 836 kW PV. On average, Solar Over Louisville homes will have about 80% of their annual energy use met through solar. Additionally, the campaign also saw 513 kWh of battery storage systems installed.

“The Solar Over Louisville program made going solar a simple decision. The starting point was a webinar where they shared information about the program, the company that would do the installation, and answered questions about solar in general. It was an informal, zero pressure session,” said Kristen Beck, a Solar Over Louisville participant. “Next, I submitted some information and met with the installer and got a quote. Still, no pressure. The whole process gave me a lot of confidence in my decision. I could not be any happier with the outcome. Just wish I’d done it sooner.”

To extend the benefits of the Solar Over Louisville campaign to low- to moderate-income residents, LMG’s Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability awarded $113,000 in grants to seven income-qualifying homeowners that covered the full cost of their solar installation. Overall, the number of installations completed in communities with higher concentrations of Black and minority residents and low- to moderate-income residents exceeded the national average.

“The LSC is incredibly proud to be part of the Solar Over Louisville solarize campaign. As a nonprofit dedicated to creating more equitable and sustainable communities, we are thrilled by the scale of success Solar Over Louisville reached, all while prioritizing our most vulnerable communities,” said Julia Murray, Executive Director of the Louisville Sustainability Council. “Every educational workshop and solar install gets us one step closer to reaching Louisville's city-wide sustainability goals. We are eager and excited to continue growing Solar Over Louisville alongside Louisville Metro for 2023 and beyond.”

Solar Over Louisville launched in February with Kentucky-based Solar Energy Solutions as the campaign’s chosen installer. Given the significant community interest, the city, LSC, and the Kentucky Solar Energy Society (KYSES) will relaunch the program in early 2023. KYSES has been a technical advisor on the campaign and will join the team in 2023 as an official partner. A request for proposals has been issued to identify a chosen solar installer for next year’s campaign. The deadline is January 6, and it can be accessed at https://louisvilleky.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/80560.

Solar Over Louisville gives households in Louisville and the broader region the opportunity to use their collective buying power to obtain discounted wholesale rates for solar installation. Rooftop solar has the potential to reduce individuals' energy cost burden while acting against climate change. Residential buildings account for 27.4% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Louisville Metro Government’s Sustainability Work

Solar Over Louisville is the latest program aimed at moving the city closer to is its goals of 100% clean energy community-wide and net zero greenhouse gas emissions community-wide by 2040. Since 2016, LMG has leveraged over $15 million in private capital toward energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through its Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) program, a financing mechanism that allows non-residential property owners to repay private loans for energy improvement projects. Since 2017, the city has incentivized the installation of over 1 million square feet of cool roofs through its Cool Roof Incentive Program, with a majority of the available funds allocated toward targeted high-heat districts.

Mayor Fischer has focused on sustainability since the start of his term, commissioning the city’s first-ever sustainability plan, Sustain Louisville, as a framework to shape progress toward the city’s climate change goals and later melding those goals into the city’s long-range planning. In 2020, Metro Council passed an ordinance, supported by the Mayor, setting goals of 100% renewable electricity for Metro operations by 2030, 100% clean energy for Metro operations by 2035, and 100% clean energy community-wide by 2040.

Earlier this year, Mayor Fischer signed an executive order committing Louisville to the science-based target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions community-wide by 2040. The order was an update to prior set goals of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions community-wide by 2050. In November, Metro Council passed a resolution to reinforce the city’s commitment to the new net zero goal.

Louisville has received LEED Silver certification for its sustainability work and has an A List ranking with the global environmental nonprofit CDP for 2021 and 2022. Learn more about the city’s sustainability work at www.100percentlou.com.

Louisville Sustainability Council

As the leading sustainability organization in Louisville, the Louisville Sustainability Council (LSC) is a catalyst for innovation and collaboration in our community. Unlike any other organization in the region, the LSC strategically connects and convenes organizations and businesses with the shared goal of creating a more just and sustainable future for our Louisville community. By hosting education-based events, creating accessible resources, and funding sustainability-driven projects across the state, the LSC strives to catalyze and maximize our collective impact within the social, environmental, and economic sustainability sectors.

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