The Kentucky Energy & Environment Cabinet (KY EEC) has released a new interactive map of Kentucky’s solar projects and ordinances to help users visualize existing solar projects, along with options for new solar across the state. Interested individuals can click to explore Kentucky’s current solar ordinances and Siting Board-approved solar projects. This key ordinance information can help local governments better support renewable energy projects at all scales of development, from residential rooftop to utility-scale solar installations.
Until recently, there was no mechanism for KY EEC Office of Energy Policy to receive and respond to site inquiries, so developers often selected sites with little input from the state. Staff from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development would pass inquiries to colleagues at the Office of Energy Policy, who, initially, had no way to gauge suitability. Siting characteristics such as topography, slope, or the presence of threatened species had to be considered. Teams at the Office of Energy Policy used their geographic information system (GIS) technology to create the Solar Site Potential in Kentucky platform, guiding solar developers to prime locations.
Another key benefit of Solar Site Potential in Kentucky platform is the transparency it offers to communities that may be affected by possible development. Community stakeholders can see exactly where local land is being considered for solar projects. This information influences personal and local planning decisions, such as safeguarding land for specific uses or protecting views and empowering communities with knowledge related to environmental justice.