A huge win for clean energy in Kentucky
Clean energy activists are elated over a big victory in the heart of coal country, where a Kentucky power cooperative has agreed to cancel plans to build a new coal-fired power plant.
The East Kentucky Power Cooperative struck a deal with an alliance of grassroots activists and others to halt plans for the proposed coal-burning unit at Smith Power Station in Clark County, Ky. The agreement involves the grassroots citizens group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth along with the Kentucky Environmental Foundation, Sierra Club, the Kentucky attorney general and Gallatin Steel, the EKPC’s biggest industrial customer. Also involved in the agreement were individual co-op members including noted Kentucky author and farmer Wendell Berry, a member of the Shelby Energy co-op.
Besides canceling the plant’s construction, EKPC will also commit $125,000 to working with the public interest groups and its member co-ops to come up with ideas for new energy efficiency programs and clean-energy options.
“Renewables and demand-side management programs will play increasingly important roles in the energy industry,” said EKPC Chief Financial Officer Mike McNalley. “This collaborative will help EKPC gather ideas and feedback to explore the realistic potential of renewables and demand-side management here in Kentucky.”