The Solar Over Louisville (SOL) campaign, designed to promote the use of solar energy in Louisville through education and advocacy, has reached more than double its 2 MW Solar Challenge goal, with more than 4 MW of new solar capacity installed for metro Louisville by the end of 2016. This total includes an estimated 700,350 watts of solar power installed in homes and businesses and 3,900,000 watts installed by LG&E for use by its customers.
Solar Over Louisville was adopted as a project in 2015 by the Louisville Sustainability Council (LSC), a nonprofit organization working to engage businesses, government agencies, schools, individuals, and other nonprofits to work together to achieve Louisville’s sustainability goals. An early action was working with Louisville Metro Government to pass a Resolution promoting Solar in Louisville. In 2016, a 2 Million Watt Solar Challenge was launched. With Councilmembers Hollander and Blackwell’s sponsorship, Louisville Metro Council awarded grant funding to support this challenge.
A series of eight workshops was conducted at Louisville public libraries to educate the community about solar installations for residences. Professional training was also provided for City employees involved with solar permitting and inspections, and for building professionals in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council. SOL presented to civic groups such as the Rotary Club, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC), and Clifton Unitarian Church; led solar tours, including the Louisville part of the National Solar Tour in October; worked with the Metro Office of Sustainability on the SolSmart application for recognition for expedited permitting and a City solar energy web page; and provided educational displays at community events and festivals such as the Mighty Kindness Folk Festival, Louisville Energy Alliance’s Efficiency Conversation, and the Clifton Unitarian Street Fair.
In 2017 Solar Over Louisville transitioned to its permanent home with the Kentucky Solar Energy Society.