Richard Levine has heard all of the arguments about why solar energy won’t work in Kentucky. And he has been defying them for three decades.
Levine, a University of Kentucky architecture professor, designed and built one of the nation’s first solar homes on 32 acres he bought in 1974 near Raven Run Nature Sanctuary. He has been living there ever since.
Last month, he finished adding new high-tech solar panels to the roof of a studio next to his home that will make both buildings “net zero.” That means, over the course of a year, the photo-voltaic cells will produce as much electricity as the buildings consume.
Levine, co-director of UK’s Center for Sustainable Cities, is continuing to use his live-in laboratory to explore new home design and energy technologies he thinks will become more important as utility rates rise and environmental concerns grow. Read more