All posts by Louisville Sustainability Council

2016 Solar Challenge Reaches More than Double its Goal with 4 MW installed

SOL PiktoThe 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.


Louisville Metro Comprehensive Plan 2040

More Action Opportunities – Comprehensive Planning for Louisville Metro 2040

We need YOU to get involved in the development of the Comprehensive Plan for Louisville Metro 2040! Your participation  in these workshops is critical so that sustainability will be included in the objectives and policies for the next 20 years.

There are six Work Groups: Mobility, Community Form, Community Facilities, Livability & Environment, Housing, & Marketplace.  The goal is to incorporate these themes in each work group topic, CHASE: Connectivity, Health, Authenticity,SUSTAINABILITY, and Equity.  However, we have been informed that there may not be any or enough sustainability voices participating, and without your help this opportunity may be lost.

We need you, sustainability minded community members to get involved in the working groups and be the voice for sustainability development in our community!  Please tell us if you plan to attend, what you learned while there, and if you would like to coordinate your attendance with the LSC Green Building & Infrastructure Action Team. Contact

For more information, including meeting dates and locations visit:

Sign up for a work group, please click here or contact Ken Baker at

Mobility – This work group will focus on updating the Comprehensive Plan policies related to land use and transportation patterns, including street connectivity, transit, enhancing the pedestrian and bicycle networks and the relationship between land use and transportation. The work of this group will be informed by the goals identified in Move Louisville.

Community Form – This work group will focus on updating the Comprehensive Plan policies that address the character and diversity of Louisville’s neighborhoods by reviewing and updating the Form District descriptions and incorporating recommendations from the Historic Preservation Task Force.

Community Facilities – This work group will focus on updating the Comprehensive Plan policies related to the location and design of public facilities including parks, government buildings, schools, utilities and non-transportation infrastructure such as water and sewer facilities.

Livability & Environment – This work group will focus on updating the Comprehensive Plan policies to enhance community health and equity, and incorporating sustainability into the Plan. The work of this group will be informed by Sustain Louisville, Healthy Louisville, and the Health Equity Report.

Housing – This work group will focus on updating the Comprehensive Plan policies that address and advance the provision of and access to housing for all of Louisville’s citizens.

Marketplace – This work group will focus on updating the Comprehensive Plan policies relating to Louisville’s business and economic growth.

Louisville Metro Comprehensive Plan 2040

Louisville Metro Comprehensive Plan 2040

It Takes a Ville

2016 Sustainability Summit: It Takes A ‘Ville

The Louisville Metro Office of Sustainability and the Louisville Sustainability Council (LSC) are hosting the third annual Sustainability Summit on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Highlights will include innovative speakers from across the U.S. and a focus on opportunities for residents to actively engage in creating a more sustainable Louisville.

“Making Louisville more sustainable is an ambitious goal that we can achieve if everyone does their part,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Individual contributions towards this effort are becoming ever more urgent in the face of local and global challenges. The Summit’s focus on action is more relevant than ever.”

The 2016 Sustainability Summit welcomes educators, leaders, innovators, and interested citizens of all backgrounds to attend the event. This year’s theme – It takes a ‘Ville – reflects on the need for everyone to contribute to community progress towards a sustainable city.

Attendees will hear from sustainability leaders from across the country. The morning panel will feature:

  • Matt Gray, Director of the Cleveland Office of Sustainability,
  • Jennifer Lansing, Senior Environmental Research Analyst for the Minneapolis Health Department,
  • Rick Hicks, Director or of the Office of Environmental Protection and Sustainability at the Columbus Public Health Department, and
  • Ryan Evans, a leading expert in the state of Utah on the impact of air quality on economic development.

Dr. Shahzeen Attari, the Summit’s keynote speaker from the top-ranked Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, will conclude the Summit with a speech entitled, Perceptions of Resource Use and Methods to Motivate Action.

Summit registrants will learn about local projects in need of participation from the community. This Showcase of Partners will include opportunities for testing water quality in Jefferson County, establishing a local food co-op, participating in multi-modal transportation options such as ride-share and car-sharing programs, integrating sustainability into Louisville’s Comprehensive Plan, invasive species  removal, community-supported bike repair, and healthy landscape auditing.

“This year’s summit will have something for everyone,” said Maria Koetter, Director of the Office of Sustainability. “From national experts to homegrown pioneers, the event aims to engage a diverse audience to support idea generation and specific efforts to help achieve the city’s health and sustainability goals.”

The 2016 Sustainability Summit is proud to receive support from Presenting Sponsors Yum! Brands and Humana, as well as TARC, K. Norman Berry & Associates Architects, PNC,  UPS, Partnership for a Green City, and many others, all of whom are committed to sustainability.

“We are building upon last year’s summit, which focused on Improving Air Quality, where many great ideas for short and long term projects were identified. This year’s local project showcase will have a direct impact on improving Louisville’s air quality, as well as improving Louisville’s STAR Community rating, especially in the areas that were identified as key gaps,” said Emily Chandler, Louisville Sustainability Council Executive Director.

To kick off the Summit, registrants are invited to attend the first public showing of Beargrass: The Creek in Your Backyard on Thursday, October 27, from 6:00 – 8:00pm at the Clifton Center. The film showing is open to the public with a $5 suggested donation to benefit the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Beargrass Creek Alliance, and Salt River Watershed Watch. Summit registrants will receive a free drink ticket.

The 2016 Sustainability Summit will take place Saturday, October 29, from 8:00am – 4:30pm at Bellarmine University in Frazier Hall. Registration includes a one-year membership with the LSC. Advance registration is still open and will be discounted until October 23. After that, tickets will be $50 for LSC members, $75 for the general public, and $25 for students. Tickets are available online through October 28th. Tickets will also be sold at the door the day of the event. A limited number of free scholarship tickets are available. Scholarship applications, due October 21, are available on the event website.

More information, as well as the registration form, can be found on the Louisville Sustainability Council website:

Metro Louisville press release archive


GLL Logo 2016

Support Solar Over Louisville on September 15th with Give Local Louisville

On September 15, 2016 the Louisville Sustainability Council (LSC) is participating in Give Local Louisville, a 24-hour online giving day created to inspire people to give generously to the nonprofits that make our community a better place to live.

GLL Logo 2016

Your donations will support the Louisville Sustainability Council’s mission to make Louisville a leader in sustainability.  This year most of the funds raised for the LSC through Give Local Louisville will directly support our Solar Over Louisville campaign.

The mission of Solar Over Louisville is to promote the use of solar energy in Louisville through education and advocacy. It seeks to make Louisville a leading city in solar policies, applications, and installations.

You can donate at any time on September 15th by going to the following link:

As a direct result of the community interest in solar reflected in the LSC’s Green Economy Action Team, the LSC formed Solar Over Louisville. Solar Over Louisville was formed to address a simple question: Why is solar so difficult for Louisville residents?

Imagine the process today for a typical Louisville resident that wants to see if solar is right for them.  They have to wade through confusing technical information, follow a confusing and contradictory permitting process, and absorb soft costs that make solar more expensive.

Compare this to a typical German resident, where solar is 3x more cost effective and typically takes half the time to install.  Given that Kentucky actually has more solar resource available than Germany, the only difference between the two is policy and transparent information.  SOL seeks to make Louisville a leader in using the resources that we already have in a cost-effective way.

Solar soft costs breakdownThe image above shows the national average “soft costs” breakdown of solar energy. Louisville’s cumbersome permitting process, lack of solar workforce development programs, and limited customer education drive up the cost of solar systems. SOL aims to reduce these costs through policy advocacy and market improvements.  

SOL envisions a Louisville where solar is a viable and cost-effective option for every resident.  We work to enable an efficient solar marketplace through smart policy and easily-accessible information for Louisville residents.

Help the LSC and SOL to turn Louisville from a solar laggard to a solar leader! Your donation to LSC and SOL will support our solar workshops, community education programs, and much more!

Solar Over Louisville


Paid Sustainability Internship with TARC


TARC Sustainability Program
The Transit Authority of River City (TARC) is seeking a student interested in a paid internship. They would work under the direction of Geoffrey Hobin, Capital Projects Administrator, to develop TARC’s sustainability metrics. They will begin with establishing a greenhouse gas baseline for the agency using utility information for buildings and emissions data for fleet of vehicles. This a great opportunity for someone interested in working professionally on sustainability issues! Interested students should contact:

TARCGeoffrey Hobin
Capital Projects Administrator
TARC 1000 W. Broadway Louisville, KY 40203
502.561.5111 (office) | 502.376.4998 (cell)