2010 ended in a great success story for some in central Kentucky—the Smith I plant has been canceled! Members of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC), the Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KEF), the Cumberland Chapter of the Sierra Club, and East Kentucky Co-op costumers have been working for the past four years to prevent the construction of a new coal-burning power plant in Clark County, in central Kentucky, and their work has ultimately paid off, as the East Kentucky Power Cooperative has canceled its plans for this new polluter. Even better news is that they have entered into collaborative effort with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and others to research and implement new energy efficiency programs and renewable energy production.
The decision to cancel the plans for Smith 1 follows a mandate from the Kentucky Public Service Commission that the cooperative reevaluate alternatives to building a new coal plant. While environmental groups and regulatory agencies have been increasing the pressure on EKPC, the co-op’s spokesperson said that the decision was ultimately made to save money for the co-op and its customers—energy demand has actually dipped in recent years at the same time as the Smith plant’s projected cost went up several hundreds of millions of dollars.
The more economically and environmentally conservative route that EKPC is now taking involves collaborating with members of KFTC, KEF, and Sierra. EKPC has already committed $125,000 to this collaboration, which it will chair, with a representative from one of the three groups acting as vice chair. Other participants in the collaborative will include the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, the distribution co-ops which comprise EKPC, and other stakeholders. Continue reading ‘Another coal plant CANCELED, East Kentucky Power enters into clean energy collaboration with environmental groups’