Making A Difference: Kentuckian Furthers Solar Research

Posted at 5:31 PM, Jun 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 17:31:12-04

MORGAN COUNTY, Ky (LEX 18) A Wolfe County native has dedicated his life to furthering research on solar power in Eastern Kentucky. He said that a new solar farm in Morgan County will be the first of its kind.

The rows and rows of solar panels in Morgan County is a beautiful sight for Gary Booth.

"Oh yeah, this is fun. To an old boy scientist, this is great," said Booth.

He grew up in Campton and now that he is retired from his job at Proctor and Gamble, his passion is to further research of solar energy.

"I want Eastern Kentucky, the people to feel like they’re on the absolute forefront of technology as opposed to being a backwater. and with the educational component of this, that’s true," he said.

He donated more than half a million dollars to build a solar farm for the Licking Valley Rural Electric Co-Op. He said that the tax incentives are great for a project like this and it will save residents money.

"This is 932 panels rated at 300 kilowatts, translated to simple English, this would supply electricity to about 50 homes," said Booth. "As far as I know, this will be the first solar farm in the U.S. that has data available to the public because usually that sort of thing is held very tightly."

Students at EKU will be able to use the data collected from the panels to determine the best environments for solar power. Booth said that it is not the first solar farm he has built in Eastern Kentucky and it will not be the last.