The Frankfort Plant Board has a win-win opportunity before it: A proposal developed by Apogee Climate and Energy Transitions would build a solar facility to serve Frankfort schools and government buildings, cutting their annual energy costs in half, and saving taxpayers over a million dollars annually.
Further benefits include economic development and reduced emissions linked to climate and health costs, e.g., the EPA estimates that replacing fossil fuels with the amount of solar proposed would save $500,000 to $1.2 million annually in health care costs.
Most schools and local governments in Kentucky have limited access to solar energy because of current restrictions that protect monopoly, investor-owned utilities. Kentucky municipal utilities do not have these restrictions; they are free to allow third-party ownership of solar panels through power purchase agreements and allow virtual net metering that distributes credit for energy fed to the grid among multiple users of one installation.
The Frankfort Plant Board can be a model for the rest of the state in clean, healthy and economic energy planning. They should seize the day!