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TUESDAY 9.1.15 ll COURIER-JOURNAL.COM ll METRO EDITION

M OV I N G B E YO N D C OA L Rowan
clerk loses
round in
high court
Justices deny request for a
stay in gay marriage case
Andrew Wolfson and Mike Wynn
@adwolfson, @MikeWynn_CJ

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled
against a Kentucky county clerk who
says her Christian faith should exempt
her from having to issue marriage li-
censes to same-sex couples, The Associ-
ated Press reported Monday night.
The Supreme Court on Monday de-
nied Rowan County Clerk
Kim Davis’ request for a
stay while she pursues an
appeal.
BY THE NUMBERS In the two months
since the court legalized
Solar homes and small businesses
gay marriage, Davis has
hooked up to LG&E:
refused to issue any mar- By the num
riage licenses. Four cou- Kim Davis
2008 ples sued her and the Su-
preme Court’s rejection marks the end Solar home
of her legal options to refuse.
2015 It’s not clear exactly what she willhooked
do up
MAGGIE HUBER, SPECIAL TO THE C-J when her office opens Tuesday. Her2008 at-
Jacob Bruce carries a solar panel to be installed on a home off Brownsboro Road. torney has said she will pray about it
overnight. 2

GOING
The couples’ attorneys might now 2009
ask
a federal judge to hold her in contempt 10of
court if she continues to refuse to issue
2010
the licenses. A contempt order could car-
ry steep fines or jail time. 42
On the state level, meanwhile, Davis
is headed toward another type of reckon-2011

SOLAR
90
ing, and it may include time behind bars.

See ROWAN, Page2012
2A
111
2013
Bullitt Utilities 139
2014

Tax breaks, net metering help make it
can abandon 166
2015
attractive in a leading coal state sewer system 189
Source: LG&
189
‘‘
I think it’s kind State agency’s decision
of sexy to be able affects 700 customers
James Bruggers to create your own James Bruggers
Environment
@jbruggers energy on your own @jbruggers

property. There is a The privately owned Bullitt Utilities
Imagine a solar city in a leading can abandon its sewer system that
coal state. personal pride to say serves about 700 customers in the Hunt-
Increasingly, advocates and you are doing the right ers Hollow and Hillview areas of Bullitt
some public officials are doing County, the Kentucky Public Service
just that in Louisville, as the price thing.” Commission has determined.
of using the sun to keep the lights COLLEEN CRUM, co-chair of a council Its order Monday said the PCS will go
on continues to fall. committee coordianting the Solar Over to Franklin Circuit Court as soon as pos-
While solar power is still a tiny Louisville campaign sible to seek appointment of a tempor-
fraction of the region’s energy ary operator, to begin running the sys-
mix, solar panels on rooftops are “We’d been thinking about it Freezing
tem prior to a Sept. 30 deadline,
rain
Freezing
when rain the
Ice
no longer an extreme rarity. More for a while,” said Louisville resi- company would be allowed to walk away.
people are calculating a solar bot- dent and musician Tom Cunning- The commission intends to seek ap-
tom line in the black, for their ham, who had a solar power sys- pointment of the Bullitt County Sanita-
household or business finances, as tem installed by the Louisville tion District to take over, because it of-
well as for Mother Nature. LG&E business Avery and Sun last week. fers the best opportunity for theChance
contin-
Chance of Chanceof Chance
Snow
shows a 70 percent increase in The panels were bolted down to a uation of service to light
thesnow customers
of snow
light snow of of flurries
snow
homes and small businesses back roof on the Clifton home he Bullitt Utilities, according to a news re-
hooked up to solar since 2012, shares with his wife, Lorraine lease. The sanitation district is already
2009: 10, 2010: 42, 2011: 90,
from 111 homes to 189. Venberg. “It’s worth it economi- treating wastewater from the failed pri-
2012: 111, 2013: 139, 2014: 166
There were no such hook-ups vate system, and its director earlier told
prior to seven years ago. See SOLAR, Page 7A Source: LG&E and KU Energy
See SEWER, Page 4A
Sunny Sunny
Fair Fair
Haze

courier-journal.com facebook.com/courierjournal @courierjournal WEATHER, 2A
Louisville area 36-hour forecast:
Hot temperatures will continue
INDEX Comics 3D Editorial 10A Lottery 2A Neighbor- Sports 1C USAToday 1B through the holiday weekend, with TODAY
Partly TOMORROW
Partly
Partly Partly
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Deaths 7A Features 1D Metro 3A hoods 5A TV 4D only isolated rain chances. 90 | 72
sunny 92 | 72
sunny
cloudy cloudy
cloudy

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FROM PAGE ONE/DEATHS lll THE COURIER-JOURNAL KY TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2015 lll 7A

stalled by homeowners and businesses establishing citywide renewable energy
actually help the utilities by avoiding goals and strategies. But that plan is
SOLAR costs of buying coal or other fuels. more than two years old and those goals
“It puts energy on the grid they don’t have yet to be worked out.
Continued from Page 1A have to purchase,” she said. “It really “At the end of the day, it’s all about the
helps with peak demand, which is the math, and getting the math to add up,”
cally, and it’s something we wanted to do most expensive electricity. It also re- said Maria Koetter, the city’s sustainabil-
for the environment.” duces transmission costs by putting ity director. “That’s harder due to our
The time it takes to recover the costs electricity on the grid closer to where it’s historically cheap energy.
from solar investments has been drop- used.” Citizens should keep making re-
ping, helped out by federal and state tax Givens and others, including Wallace quests, she said, and she welcomes a ro-
credits and improved technology, ac- McMullen of the Sierra Club, were cele- bust community renewable energy dis-
cording to solar installers and their cus- MAGGIE HUBER, SPECIAL TO THE C-J brating Metro Council’s solar power res- cussion. “We are going to get there. We
tomers. But while Louisville and Ken- Jon Bruce secures a rail to hold a solar panel. olution adopted on Thursday as a mile- can’t be at the back of the pack forever.”
tucky lag far behind the rest of the coun- stone and a way to push Louisville ener-
try in solar, advocates are seeing signs of gy policies in a greener direction. Reach reporter James Bruggers at 502-582-
change in a state that gets about 90 per- PUSHING SOLAR Fischer’s sustainability plan calls for 4645 and at jbruggers@courier-journal.com.
cent of its electricity from coal.
Solar farms have popped up in Bowl- The nonprofit Louisville Sustainability Council
ing Green and Berea. Tennessee Valley with a membership that cuts across business,
Authority policies are making solar government and nonprofit groups, is prepar-
more affordable in western Kentucky ing a “Solar Over Louisville” campaign.
communities it serves. Organizers have tentatively set a goal of
Kentucky is going to get its first util- adding 2 megawatts of solar power by the
end of 2016, when a 30 percent federal tax 1RWLFHVIRU6HSWHPEHU (XJHQH³*HQH´&KDUOHV 3DWULFLD&UDZIRUG
ity-scale and largest solar array, a 10- +DDJ 'DYLG(&XPPLQJV
megawatt facility to be constructed with break on solar power is due to expire. 0(752
:LOOLDP$EHUQDWK\ -RKQQLH)UDQN+DOO +'DYLG'HYLOOH]
tens of thousands of solar panels in Mer- -RKQ)UDQFLV+D\V 5LWD(KULQJHU
cer County, owned and operated by Ken- -DQHW/RXLVH$OH[DQGHU
%ULDQ-RVHSK&DUE\ %HWW\+XFNOHEHUU\ &KHVWHU³&KHW´/HH
tucky Utilities and LG&E. have 25-year warranties and are expect- %HYHUO\-XVWLFH )UDNHV-U
And the Louisville Metro Council on ed to last even longer. 5REHUW&&DUUHQGHU
$QQ.&ODUN 3DPHOD6QRGJUDVV.XSULRQ *HUWUXGH*RRGPDQ
Thursday passed a strongly worded res- The system was expensive, Klein 3DWULFLD0LFKOHU -RKQ(³-DFN´+RVEDFK
olution in support of solar power, led by said. But he added that in addition to be- &DWK\-DQH0DU\&RQQHOO
'RURWK\-HDQ&UDYHQ $XGUH\'HQLVH3RZHOO *HUWUXGH&DWKHULQH
council members Rick Blackwell and ing a good financial investment, he said (+DOVH\6DQGIRUG /RXJKPLOOHU
Bill Hollander. he feels better about not relying on coal 0LFKDHO$QWKRQ\&XUWLV
(PPD.DWKOHHQ'HQQLVRQ &KULVWLQH6PHGOH\ -HDQQHWWH$OLFH1HOVRQ
“It encourages the discussion and and helping to reduce his family’s contri- -DPHV)6QDZGHU 'DYLG0HOWRQ2ZHQ
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promotion of solar use on public and pri- bution to climate change. (OL]DEHWK(OOHQ6WHLQHU *DUWK3HWHUVRQ
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vate buildings,” Hollander said. Jeremy Coxon’s SunWind Power Sys- *HRUJH*LYHQV7DWXP =RUD(6OD\WRQ
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tems of Floyd County, Ind., did the work. 5D\PRQG-6U7KRPDV -HII6WUHHSH\
Dixie Do-Over 0DU\*UDIW)LQQ
Coxon said the economics varies accord- 'HERUDK*DLO)UHHPDQ
Metro Council is turning its attention ing to the size of a home, its location and &ODUHQFH³&DO´*HWPDQ ,1',$1$ .(178&.<
toward a possible ordinance to increase its efficiency. Typical systems can cost -RKQ/*ULI¿Q 5XWK*&ROOLHU 6HHSDJH$
financing options to businesses that as much as a car, ranging from $10,000 to
want to invest in solar power, or other en- $30,000, and with good credit, financing
ergy efficiency measures, while Black- can be found, Coxon said.
ALEXANDER, JANET LOUISE,
passed away on Au-
well is promoting a vision for solar-pow- In addition to the federal tax credit, gust 25, 2015 unex-
ered street lighting on Dixie Highway. there is also a $500 state tax credit pectedly at her home.
The ordinance would allow for Louis- through Dec. 31. She leaves behind
ville to have what are called Energy Pro- Installing solar in Indiana can be even her companion of 30
ject Assessment Districts, which open more complex, he said, as there is no years, Larry Flem-
up financing that can be paid back over state law requiring uniform net-meter- ing; her sons, Tim and
Christopher Alexan-
as many as 20 years as part of property ing policies. “You can be neighbors and
tax assessments. It would not involve one person can be net-metered and other ABERNATHY, WILLIAM “HEN” HENRY JR., der; grandchildren,
Tim Alexander Jr.,
public subsidies, Hollander said. “Over 71, passed away
won’t (be allowed) to connect.” Friday, August 28, and Taevon Alexander
30 states have done this, and progressive New power plant rules unveiled in 2015. and Taelor Alexander;
states and communities have made this early August could also boost the solar He served in the and a host of extended
work, and I think we should, too.” industry. U.S. Army and retired family of hundreds of special needs children
Blackwell envisions an Interstate The U.S. Environmental Protection from Philip Morris. and adults.
264-Dixie Highway interchange filled Agency’s Clean Power plan set a goal of He is survived by Visitation: noon – 2 p.m. Tuesday at Portland
his wife, Angela; chil- Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, 3800
with wildflowers and dozens of solar cutting carbon pollution from power West Market Street, Louisville, KY 40212 with
panels, enough to power hundreds of plants by 32 percent by the year 2030, dren, William Aber-
nathy, Tinika Young, funeral service to follow. Rodgers, Awkard &
streetlights along a corridor he said is il- compared with 2005 levels. It is expected Dayo Watkins and Lyons is in charge.
luminated now only by lights in business to reward states and utility companies Antonio Tiofil.
parking lots. that move quickly to expand their invest- Funeral will be 1
It’s part of a Dixie Do-Over to make ment in solar and wind power, while fac- p.m. Thursday at Highland Park Missionary
part of Dixie Highway more attractive ing a legal and political challenge from Baptist Church, 3700 Shanks Lane,
and safer. He said the Kentucky Trans- Kentucky and Indiana by political lead- with visitation from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Thursday, with burial in Kentucky Vet-        

portation Cabinet and the city’s public ers who argue President Barack Obama
erans Cemetery on Friday. Arrange-      


works department have been pushing is carrying out a “war on coal.” ments by G.C. Williams
back, citing cost and safety concerns. Still, some cities and states have been
But the lack of streetlights is also a working to develop solar power for
safety matter, Blackwell said. years, and those that rank better for so-
Chris Poynter, the spokesman for lar have stronger renewable energy pol-
Mayor Greg Fischer, said city officials icies, and they often have utilities that
are trying to work through the issues. provide more incentives for people to
At the same time, the nonprofit Louis- use solar.
ville Sustainability Council with a mem- State officials say there is plenty of
bership that cuts across business, gov- sunshine. But they also note how solar
ernment and nonprofit groups, is prepar- energy can be politically polarizing in
ing a “Solar Over Louisville” campaign. Kentucky, the nation’s third largest coal
Organizers have tentatively set a goal producing state. In the most current En-
of adding 2 megawatts of solar power by ergy and Environment Cabinet’s Land,
the end of 2016, when a 30 percent feder- Air & Water magazine, they explain
al tax break on solar power is due to ex- some of that tension that exists between
pire. the state’s utilities and solar advocates.
That could add a few hundred new People who install their own panels
residential solar power systems, sup- tout the benefits of cleaner power for
porters said. Currently, LG&E counts a their communities and the utility. For
little less than 1 megawatt of solar power their part, utilities see more solar panels
from residential and small commercial on customers’ homes as less electricity
customers. By comparison, LG&E and they can sell, while they still need to pro-
KU Energy’s new Cane Run natural gas vide power lines and other overhead.
power plant in Louisville produces 650
megawatts of electricity. Balancing act
As envisioned, Solar Over Louisville LG&E spokeswoman Natasha Collins
would be a “strategic, focused, collective described a balancing act to make sure
effort” to integrate solar thinking across all customers are treated fairly while the
the city, said Colleen Crum, co-chair of a utility provides low-cost electricity. Her
council committee that is coordinating company sees net-metering as a subsidy
the campaign. to customers with solar panels because
A solar push is important for public those customers are, she said, getting
health and economic development, mak- credits valued at the higher retail price
ing Louisville more attractive to young of electricity as opposed to the actual
people and others seeking a cleaner envi- cost to produce it, which is lower.
ronment. One battleground is over Kentucky’s
“I think it’s kind of sexy to be able to 30-kilowatt limit to residential and com-
create your own energy on your own mercial solar power systems for partici-
property,” she added. “There is a per- pation in net metering. Nancy Givens,
sonal pride to say you are doing the right marketing director for Avery and Sun
thing.” Solar Installations, said that shuts out
But Louisville has a long way to go. most commercial businesses, which

BUY 3 SIDES
A recent report out of North Carolina need more power.
State University ranked the city 50th of Collins said LG&E will work with any
the 50 biggest cities for solar’s value to business that wants to install solar pan-
consumers, in part because of a history els, but acknowledges the financial in-
of having cheap electricity powered by centives for systems larger than 30-kilo-
coal, and because state, local and utility watts are not as great.
policies supporting solar power have Solar advocates also point to some-
lagged behind other parts of the country. thing as “community solar” as another

GET 1 OF EQUAL OR LESSER VALUE
“We figure we have nowhere to go but way to boost its use. It allows people to
up,” Crum said. invest in solar panels in their community
and get credit on their bills, as if the pan-
How it works els were on their rooftops. It’s helpful for

AT NO COST TO YOU*
Customers who have solar power sys- people whose homes may not be suited
tems installed on their homes sign up for for solar power, because of shade, struc-
“net metering.” As panels collect energy tural issues or historic preservation pol-
from the sun, they run the home or busi- icies, installers said.
nesses’ electricity meter backward. That could become more important as
When the sun sets, the meter goes the Louisville also pushes to restore a de-
other direction, and for many homes,
systems supply all the electricity need-
ed, wiping out electricity bills.
That’s what LG&E customer attorney
pleted tree canopy.
Berea has such a project, allowed by
its locally controlled municipal power
provider. LG&E is evaluating communi-
Home Improvement Professionals
Toll Free 1-888-570-3463
Robert Klein, who had a solar power sys- ty solar, but also has fairness concerns,
tem installed on his Louisville home ear- Collins said.
lier this month, said he’s counting on. He “We’re committed to maintaining the
said he expects a payback in about nine
or 10 years, down from as many as 14
most affordable energy supply for all
customers and working to ensure that www.americaswindowusa.com
years just a few years ago. And, he said, costs do not shift between customers and
he’s convinced the solar power will boost do not harm those who cannot afford so- *New orders only. Minimum purchase required. Some restrictions apply. Not valid with any other offer. Sorry,
the value of his home. lar panels,” she said. no adjustments can be made prior to sales. Financing available, subject to credit approval. Exp. 9-30-15.
Installers say the panels typically Givens argued that solar systems in- CJ-0000394730

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