Largest non-utility solar array in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 13, 2017) — The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) has announced the completion of a five megawatt Solar Array Project at Fort Campbell—making it the largest non-utility solar array in Kentucky. Completion of the project was recognized today by state, federal and local officials during a ribbon cutting ceremony at Fort Campbell.
The Solar Array Project produces five megawatts of solar energy, which is enough to power the equivalent of 463 homes and provide more than 10 percent of Fort Campbell’s power requirements in the form of renewable energy.
The Fort Campbell project is a united effort through a partnership with the United States Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE), Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative (PRECC) and the Kentucky EEC.
Preparation to install a solar array began in 2012 when Fort Campbell established a renewable energy plan, based on directives set forth in the American Renewable Energy Act requiring 25 percent of energy consumed by federal installations to be produced by renewable means by 2025.
The Kentucky EEC awarded a $3.1 million grant in December 2012 to help launch the project’s first phase. Phase one included a 1.9 megawatt portion of the solar array, executed through a 10-year utility energy services contract with PRECC. The contract allows the electric cooperative to use the grant funding to pay for the solar array’s interconnection infrastructure.
Fort Campbell received an additional $800,000 grant through the US DOE Federal Emergency Management Program to fund phase two. Funding is tied to a 27-year power purchase agreement.
The solar project covers approximately 20 acres and is located on an abandoned landfill on Ft. Campbell, allowing the Army to apply lessons learned to other large-scale, landfill-based solar projects that could benefit sites in Kentucky as well as nationwide.