Solar-Powered Sheep At E.W. Brown

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K.U. has entered into a partnership with Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill to have sheep maintain some of the property at the E.W. Brown Solar Farm in Burgin. K.U. hopes the flock grows large enough to maintain the entire facility, which spreads over 50 acres.

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

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When you say solar farm, most people have  difficulty imagining the “farm” part. However, as solar farms spread across the nation, utility-scale solar arrays are beginning to look more like traditional farms.

Last year, Kentucky Utilities added a pollinator habitat and a flock of more than two dozen sheep to the E.W. Brown universal solar array in Burgin.

KU entered into a partnership with Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill to bring in sheep to help manage vegetation around the solar panels. After wintering at Shaker Village, the flock—which has expanded to include Shetland, Katadhin and a new generation of lambs born this spring—was transferred back to the solar site in March.

According to a KU press release, there has been so much interest in the sheep, the utility launched a new online camera to give viewers an inside look while the sheep return to work.

“The launch of our new sheep cam provides another look at our work to preserve and incorporate nature and sustainable efforts across our business,” said Aron Patrick, LG&E and KU manager of Technology Research and Analysis. “We hope they get just as much joy out of watching the sheep as we’ve gotten out of working to plan this project, put it in place and, now, watching it grow.”

Shakertown manages the flock, selling the wool to a local vendor. According to the KU press release, proceeds support Shakertown’s mission and flock maintenance costs.

The flock is currently grazing 10 acres at the site, and K.U. hopes they will eventually grow numerous enough to maintain the entire solar farm.

For the rest of the story, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald or click here to subscribe to the online version.

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