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Clay County, Kentucky resident Randy Wilson ran for the board of his electric cooperative on a platform of affordable energy, better energy choices, and good local jobs in 2009. Randy was the first person to oppose a sitting Jackson Energy board member since the co-op was founded in 1938. Before running for office, Randy was an active member of the Kentuckians For the Commonwealth’s Canary Leadership Network carrying a message throughout the region about the need to transition away from coal and towards clean energy.
Millard Area Technology Center in Pikeville, Kentucky has begun training energy auditors who will work to increase area homes’ energy efficiency. Millard’s 40-hour certification track equips students with the ability to perform blower-door tests, carbon monoxide checks and furnace inspections on homes, amongst other things.
9,000 clean energy jobs could be created in Eastern Kentucky and save Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) customers money. Folks from throughout EKPC’s service area and beyond have joined in efforts to persuade the power company to make planning decisions that would create these good, green jobs.
In the history of coal in America, Harlan County, Kentucky is legendary for its coal heritage, especially for the efforts of its people to organize for better living and working conditions. Labor unrest in the 1930s led to the county being referred to as “Bloody Harlan.” That same passion for progress and tradition of organizing continues today as Harlan County residents work to diversify their energy economy.
To address climate change, nine Frankfort and Franklin County organizations partnered this fall on a household greenhouse gas reduction project called “Lighten Up, Frankfort!” 32 of 61 participating households reported cuts in their annual greenhouse gas emissions totaling 317,700 pounds in December 12, 2009.
In May 2008, a host of Russell Area Technology Center students and electrical technology instructor Doug Keaton gathered around a 60-foot tall, 1-kilowatt wind turbine to celebrate its opening operation. Using electricity generated by the turbine is just one part of Russell ATC's larger plan to reduce the school's energy costs by 25%.
Nolin RECC, serving Breckinridge, Bullitt, Grayson, Green, Hardin, Hart, LaRue, Meade and Taylor counties, has recently joined "the nation's quest to seek alternative energy sources," (source: www.nolinrecc.com). They have just installed a wind turbine at the RECC office, located on the Fort Knox miltary base. The turbine is part of a larger effort to use clean energy sources and efficiency to replace 35% of the total base electricity consumption in 2010.
A native of eastern Kentucky and a former underground coal miner, Nathan Hall sees a need for developing alternative energy resources in the mountains. For several years now, he has been working steadily to implement innovative renewable energy and sustainable agriculture projects in the Eastern Kentucky coalfields. Hall is currently at work constructing a self-contained mobile biodiesel processor powered entirely by renewable energy.
People's Self Help Housing has been providing affordable housing opportunities to families in Lewis County since 1982. PSHH knows that "affordability" is defined by more than just the mortgage. If a home is energy inefficient, the utility bills become too high for a low-income family to afford. As a result, PSHH has long-built highly energy efficient homes, helping the families they serve to thrive. PSHH has also recently built some of the first affordable homes in the region with renewable energy systems. Given that so many low-income KY families live in energy inefficient homes, combining affordability, efficiency and renewable energy is a recipe for success that benefits everyone.
From Bowling Green to Rockcastle County, the case studies presented here about solar energy are amazing. They present concrete examples of the feasibility and the benefits of residential and commercial solar energy use in Kentucky.