The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a 10-megawatt solar project proposed by Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) that will be located at the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County. This project, expected to go online in 2016, will become the Commonwealth’s largest solar facility and appears to be the first utility-scale renewable energy project in the state (not counting “renewable” biomass).
Economic and Environmental Concerns Raised at Close of Comment Period on Kentucky Plant Units
Over 550 concerned citizens from the Tennessee Valley and a coalition of conservation groups — including Earthjustice, Environmental Integrity Project, Sierra Club and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy — submitted comments on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) draft environmental assessment for units 1 and 4 at the Shawnee coal plant in West Paducah, Kentucky. The utility has proposed spending up to $225 million to retrofit the units and keep them in operation instead of retiring them by 2018. Under the terms of a major settlement with environmental groups, states and the EPA, TVA is required to make a decision on the fate of the two units by December 31, 2014, and comments due yesterday were submitted as part of that process.
On behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined to announce 26 communities, including those of Hazard and Barbourville, Kentucky, have been selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative providing technical support to integrate local food systems into community economic action plans. Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, public health and regional economic experts will work directly with the communities to develop specifically identified local food projects. Project proposals include repurposing vacant land into local food production, developing year-round retail markets for local food products, and establishing food hubs to increase local food supply chains.
EPA Awards Kentucky-based Conference of Radiation Control Directors Grant to Reduce Indoor Pollutant Exposure and Protect Public Health
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Conference of Radiation Control Directors in Frankfort, Kentucky funding to protect public health by reducing exposure to indoor pollutants, such as radon, and environmental asthma triggers commonly found in homes, schools, offices and other large buildings. The organization is one of eight from throughout the United States to receive up to $200,000 of the $4.5 million in funds that are being made available. Awards were obtained through a competitive grant process. These EPA-funded projects will ensure Americans, especially in low-income, minority and tribal communities, are able to reduce their exposure to indoor pollutants and safeguard their families’ health.
Laboratory testing from Big Ass Fans®, reviewed by researchers from top universities, has debunked the long-held belief that reversing ceiling fans in the winter recirculates heat without creating drafts.
Engineers with Big Ass Fans conducted testing that determined traditional ceiling fans, operating in reverse, caused drafts in nearly half of the room. By contrast, running Big Ass Fans’ Haiku® ceiling fan in a forward direction limited drafts to less than 1 percent of the room and used 93 percent less energy than a traditional five-bladed ceiling fan.
Diversified farmers will now have access to a improved crop insurance option with USDA’s release of the new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) crop insurance policy. This will be the first time that many farmers will have access to affordable crop insurance that provides flexible and comprehensive revenue coverage for their whole farm.