Cities around the country are participating in the National Solar Tour tomorrow, which highlights solar and other energy efficient building ideas. Louisville’s tour includes 18 buildings that have installed some type of solar energy system.
The tour is designed to give participants a sense of the different ways solar energy is powering homes in Louisville. It includes 18 buildings—some have solar panels on roofs, while others use solar hot water systems or other energy-efficient solutions.
Tim Darst is organizing Louisville’s solar tour. He says a lot of people install solar panels because they want to minimize their environmental impact. But smaller systems can also quickly translate to money savings.
“As natural gas prices go up, though, the payback on things like solar hot water are fairly short, so a lot of people are moving to that for financial reasons, also,” he said.
Darst says despite perceptions, solar power is a viable resource in Kentucky.
“Quite often people say that Kentucky doesn’t have the solar resources that the other states, like the desert Southwest has,” he said. “But Kentucky has about the same, actually a little bit more, sunlight than Germany, and Germany is the leader in Europe in solar energy.”
The tour is tomorrow from 12-4 p.m. People can take a bus to all the locations, ride along with a bike tour or conduct the tour on their own. Reservations for the bus and bike tours are recommended.