Duke Energy customers in Northern Kentucky will soon benefit from clean, renewable solar energy as part of the company's plans to develop its first solar facilities in the commonwealth. Duke Energy will build and operate three solar power plants on sites in Kenton and Grant counties, and the energy will be delivered directly to customers.
'Our customers want solar,' said Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio & Kentucky. 'And solar is something we've thoroughly studied and prioritized in our long-term planning.
'Now's the right time for many reasons. For instance, the cost of building solar projects has come down significantly in recent years, making it more cost-competitive with other sources of power generation. And solar gives us the ability to add power capacity in incremental steps - allowing us to match the growing demand for electricity in the region.'
Duke Energy plans to begin construction later this summer and hopes to complete the majority of construction activity by the end of 2017. Once operational, the combined projects will generate about 6.8 megawatts, which, at peak production, can provide electricity for about 1,300 average-sized homes.
Crittenden and Walton solar power plants to power homes and businesses
Two of the projects, Walton Solar Power Plants 1 & 2, will be built in Kenton County on parts of a 60-acre property at 352 York Road. In total, Duke Energy will install about 19,000 solar panels at the site, which will be capable of producing more than 4 megawatts of electricity.
The Crittenden Solar Power Plant will be located off I-75 in Grant County on portions of a 110-acre site at 922 Ruark Road. This solar array will include about 12,500 panels, and will be able to generate more than 2.7 megawatts of electricity.
All of the electricity created from the three solar projects will be fed onto Duke Energy Kentucky's electric grid and delivered to homes, businesses, schools, places of worship and other customers in the area.
A diversity of energy sources
The solar power plants in Northern Kentucky will help diversify and complement Duke Energy Kentucky's existing power generation fleet, which includes a 650-megawatt coal-fired plant that typically runs 24/7 and a 500-megawatt gas-fired facility that the company activates when power demand is high - like on hot summer afternoons.
Duke Energy has more than a decade of experience in the renewable energy business, and is one of the nation's top-five renewable energy companies - having invested more than $5 billion in renewable energy over the past 10 years.