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Northern Kentucky Home To State's Largest Solar Array

Bill Rinehart
L'Oréal and solar company officials cut the ribbon in front of a solar panel."

The biggest solar power plant in Kentucky is on a rooftop in Kenton County. L'Oréal USA Plant Manager Nicole Frey says the company has installed 4,140 solar panels to reduce its carbon footprint.

"That equates to over a thousand metric tons of carbon that will not be introduced into our air, 2.4 million miles traveled by passenger cars, and the array will provide the Florence facility with 1.42 megawatts of renewable solar power," Frey said at a ribbon cutting Wednesday morning.

She says the panels have a lifespan of about 30 years. During that time it will generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes for a year.

Scenic Hill Solar installed the panels. CEO Bill Halter expects other companies and utilities will soon be building large scale arrays as well.

"Because we've reached a point where solar power is as cost competitive or more cost competitive than other alternatives," Halter says. "That's because this is an underlying technology that doesn't have any fuel costs. Nobody's charging you for the sunshine. And nobody's going to charge you over the next 30 years for that sunshine." 

His company installed solar panels on the L'Oréal plant in Arkansas, making it the third largest array in that state.

Frey says in 2013 L'Oréal committed to reducing its carbon footprint, water use, and waste by 60 percent. She says the company reached its carbon reduction goal four years ahead of schedule.

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.