The Clean Energy Collaborative passes exciting recommendations | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

The Clean Energy Collaborative passes exciting recommendations

The main goal of the Clean Energy Collaborative is to review and recommend energy efficiency and renewable energy options to the East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC). KFTC is a member of this Collaborative along with EKPC, 16 local electric co-ops, and several of our allies. The Collaborative was established as a part of the process that halted the proposed Smith coal-fired power plant in Clark County three years ago.

On June 22, the Collaborative made some exciting progress by passing a set of recommendations to EKPC’s management. After coming to consensus, members of the Collaborative recommend that EKPC:

  • build a small solar farm!
  • expand their Envirowatts program (which currently sells power generated from landfill gas) to include solar, wind and hydro electric!
  • support the local co-ops that want to start Energy Ambassador programs—such as training members to go door-to-door, and talk neighbor-to-neighbor about energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
  • partner with groups like KFTC, as well other utilities, and agencies to better get the word out to increase participation in their energy efficiency programs

Some other interesting and positive things the Collaborative included in their recommendations. They recommend that EKPC:  

  • research the potential for in-state, low-impact hydroelectric generation, as well as purchasing low-cost out-of-state wind power
  • provide members and the general public with interactive informational materials and activities to familiarize solar technology and its benefits.  
  • site the 25-30 kilowatt solar farm with the consideration of increasing publicity and interest in participation.
  • work to develop a new rate strategy that will make EKPC and the co-ops more able to offer energy efficiency and demand-side management programs.
  • support those co-ops that offer the How$martKY on-bill financing program by providing marketing and advertising.

Though it is often challenging, it is also a very exciting time to be working for clean energy in Kentucky, and the Collaborative shows that, with dedication and hard work, grassroots members along with allies can create real change that begins building New Power.

KFTC member Tona Barkley is the vice-chair of the Collaborative and Steve Wilkins is KFTC’s representative. They have dedicated significant portions of their retirements toward moving this recommendation process forward. And now, due to their work and that of countless others, Kentucky’s energy mix will become a little cleaner in the future.

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