Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Livingston Middle in Burna getting Solar Plant

Livingston County Middle School at Burna is among about a half dozen sites selected to help turn sunshine into electricity.

Big Rivers Electric Corp., recently announced that the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved its proposal to build seven small solar power facilities across its service territory.

Victor Zimmerman, superintendent of Livingston County Schools, said Big Rivers had approached the school district about locating solar plant at either the high school or middle school, both of which are located on U.S. 60 between Salem and Paducah. Zimmerman said the middle school was chosen because it had the most space available. The solar panel will be about 750 square feet, about a quarter of the size of a tennis court. It will be located on the west side of the school’s property right along U.S. 60.

Big Rivers wanted the panel to be put in a high-visibility area, Zimmerman said.

“There will be educational benefits,” Zimmerman said. “Our science students will get to work with the data it produces, but there will be no energy benefit for the school district. All of the power it makes will go onto the grid.”

The solar panel at the middle school will be a 10 kW unit. Based upon sunshine in this part of the country, it would produce about enough energy to supply electricity to nearly 20 homes for one year.

The seven solar facilities, with an aggregate output of 120 kilowatts (kW), will be located at schools, parks or other public facilities. The other sites, with their generating capacity and cooperative, are:
- McCracken County High School, Paducah – 10 kW – Jackson Purchase Energy.
- Mike Miller Park, Benton – 10 kW – Jackson Purchase Energy.
- Kenergy offices, Henderson and Owensboro – 30 kW each – Kenergy.
- Meade RECC offices, Brandenburg - 20 kW; and Hardinsburg - 10 kW – Meade RECC.

The total cost of the facilities is estimated at $500,000. Big Rivers said it will pay for the facilities out of its cash reserves and hopes to recoup $125,000 of the cost through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program.