Apr 19, 2023
(HARRODSBURG, Ky.) — Spring has sprung, temps are rising and blades of grass and other vegetation are sprouting from the earth and quickly beginning to grow. At E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County, that means Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities’ flock of sheep have arrived back on the job at the station’s 50-acre solar facility to help manage the vegetation for a fourth straight year.
What started as a flock of 25 in 2020 has now grown to more than 200 Shetland and Katadin sheep, with 15 little ram and ewe lambs born just this spring and more on the way! The flock, which is cared for by farm managers from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, essentially serve as organic lawnmowers, keeping vegetation down as they graze around the facility’s more than 44,000 solar panels.
“By using sheep rather than lawnmowers, what we’re doing here is both more environmentally friendly and helps manage expenses by keeping maintenance costs down,” said Aron Patrick, director of Research and Development at LG&E and KU parent company PPL Corporation. “We also hope our unique approach can be a model for other utilities and their solar initiatives.”
The sheep graze on a custom seed mix of 64 native plants and wildflowers developed by LG&E and KU and the company’s research partners to promote native pollinators.
Viewers can catch the sheep "mowing" grass live at lge-ku.com/sheep during the spring and summer months before they return to their warm winter home at Shaker Village later this year.
For those looking to take their sheep experience to the next level, a book, published by LG&E and KU in 2022, leads readers through a day in the life of Levi the Lamb, who is set to have a big day filled with adventure. The book is available in the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill gift shop and on the organization’s website.
All proceeds from the book, which retails for $10, will directly benefit Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.
Visit lge-ku.com/sustainability for a look at more ways the company is empowering sustainability.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve more than 1.3 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 333,000 natural gas and 429,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 566,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.