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Louisville Slugs it out of the Park with First Solar Project

published: 2010-12-27 14:45

Louisville, Kentuckyis joining the solar rush in the U.S. Recently, its city leaders approved a large-scale solar project that will provide clean energy to some of the city's buildings.

The $1.3 million solar panel system was approved in a 5-2 vote, with its supporters very emphatically backing the project, praising the potential cost savings. The solar panels will be used to generate electricity at the city's wastewater treatment plant and two other water treatment facilities that currently utilize vast amounts of electricity.

The photovoltaic systems will produce roughly 147,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually and will be installed on 10,000 to 15,000 square-foot parcels of land on each site. In total, the city estimates that the solar panels - the first green projects in Louisville - will provide 7 percent of the city government's electricity needs. Bob Muckle, a city councilman, affirms: "This really is an investment that protects taxpayers from the upward cost of energy in the future."

Louisville will receive about $1 million in rebates to finance the project, including a $600,000 initial lump sum and $24,000 annual payments in renewable energy credits as a reward for reducing the load of the electrical grid. 

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