First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
Warren County to Receive $1.3 Million Grant for School’s Solar Panels

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, May 19, 2010  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Roach

FRANKFORT, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear today announced the award of a $1.374 million grant to Warren County Public Schools for the  purchase of solar panels that will put Richardsville Elementary School one step closer to achieving an energy-neutral facility.

The grant is funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds from the U.S. Department of Energy and distributed through the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence.

“Sustainable schools like Richardsville Elementary not only have a positive green impact by protecting the environment and helping with national energy security, but also teach children how to live their lives as responsible environmental stewards,” said Mrs. Beshear. “This is a message we cannot emphasize enough.”

The school district will purchase solar panels for what is slated to become the nation’s first net-zero energy school. The district is planning to open Richardsville Elementary in August 2010, following years of revising building designs. The plans will enable the newest school addition to consume a minimal amount of energy that will be offset by the abundant amount of clean energy it will produce with solar panels.

That clean energy will be sold to the Tennessee Valley Authority and will essentially result in an energy neutral facility.

Warren County Superintendent Tim Murley said without the funding, there might have been a delay in the district’s ability to purchase the solar panels and therefore complete the project. “Despite recent budget cuts and the ever-growing pressures on educators to do more with less, today we get to look forward to an even brighter future,” Murley said.

The purpose of the grant funding is to accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for Kentucky schools that will create energy costs savings and reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, the funding helps achieve the goals set by Gov. Steve Beshear’s Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky’s Future: Kentucky’s 7-Point Energy Strategy, which may be accessed at  For more information about energy in Kentucky, please visit