Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Sustainability Council (LSC) today announced the official launch of the Solar Over Louisville solarize campaign and named Kentucky-based Solar Energy Solutions (SES) as the campaign’s chosen installer.
Solar Over Louisville will give households in Louisville and the broader region the opportunity to use their collective buying power to obtain discounted wholesale rates for solar installation through SES.
“We must consider every tool in our toolbox to achieve our goal of 100% clean energy community-wide by 2040. The Solar Over Louisville solarize program is a great incentive for people who’ve been considering solar energy to make the leap and invest in something that will reduce their energy bills and add to their property values, while benefiting the broader community by reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the Mayor said. “We are excited to partner with the Louisville Sustainability Council and Solar Energy Solutions on this program.”
The company will offer 12% to 19% discounts for participants that sign up through this program; the discount rate will depend on the size of the installation. Already, more than 130 people have expressed interest.
“The Louisville Sustainability Council is proud to partner with Louisville Metro Government to create Louisville’s first solarize program, Solar Over Louisville, and we are pleased to name Solar Energy Solutions as the chosen solar installer,” said LSC executive director Julia Murray. “This program is designed to educate, support, and sustain our community through accessible renewable energy. It is the LSC’s hope that this program will play a critical role in reaching Louisville’s city-wide sustainability goals, while addressing the systemic barriers placed on our most vulnerable community members.”
In November, Louisville Metro Government (LMG) issued a Request for Proposals seeking information and pricing proposals from solar installers for the solarize campaign, and in January, a panel from Louisville Metro and the Sustainability Council, along with community solar advocates, vetted submissions and chose SES.
SES is the region’s largest and most experienced solar design, engineering, and construction company, with projects in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and surrounding states. Founded in Kentucky in 2006, SES has more than 2,000 active photovoltaic and battery storage projects in the residential, commercial and utility arenas and has participated in solarize campaigns in Lexington, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Bloomington, Ind.
“Solar Energy Solutions is honored to be Louisville’s vendor of choice for the inaugural Solar Over Louisville program! SES has been the preferred supplier for many solarize campaigns in the region, and we are excited bring our extensive experience in the engineering and installation of solar and solarize campaigns to service the citizens of Louisville in their quest to install solar energy,” said Jeffery Nazarko, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Solar Energy Solutions.
The city, LSC and SES will host a virtual workshop on March 1 at 7 p.m. to provide people with more information about the enrollment process. Details about how to join the workshop and a sign-up form for those interested in participating in Solar Over Louisville are available at www.100PercentLou.com/2040.
To extend the benefits of the Solar Over Louisville campaign to low- to moderate-income residents, LMG will be offering limited grant funds covering the cost of solar installation to income-qualified property owner. Qualifying property owners will be welcome to apply until the grant funds are depleted. More information about eligibility and the grant application process will be available at www.100PercentLou.com/2040 in March
“We understand that, even with the generous discount from SES, investing in solar is a financial stretch for some Louisvillians. This grant program is another way that Louisville Metro is helping to fulfill its commitment to greater equity,” the Mayor said.
While the program’s primary goal is to incentivize residential investment in solar, non-residential property owners are welcome to apply and will be included if the project is deemed feasible within the solarize campaign. Rooftop solar has the potential to reduce individuals’ energy 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 Louisville Metro Government’s latest program aimed at moving the city closer to is goal of 100% clean energy community-wide by 2040. Individuals, businesses and organizations also can take advantage of the following programs through the Louisville Metro Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability:
Since 2016, Louisville Metro has leveraged over $2.7 million in private capital toward energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through its Energy Project Assessment District Program, and nearly 1 million square feet of cool roofing has been installed through the city’s Cool Roof Incentive Program or on city-owned property to reduce the Urban Heat Island effect since 2016.
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.
In 2021 alone, Louisville Metro reduced its energy consumption by 15% and avoiding 2,200 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions. Louisville also recently received LEED Silver certification for its sustainability work and has an A List ranking with the global environmental nonprofit CDP.
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.