Winchester, KY— East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) has been
granted final approval to proceed with construction of Kentucky's first
plants to produce electric power from decaying municipal trash.
By the fall of 2003, three such plants are scheduled to begin producing
a total of around 10 megawatts of power by tapping methane that is emitted
at three landfills. Each of the $4 million plants will be around 5,000
The Kentucky Public Service Commission granted its approval after
a review of information supplied by Winchester-based EKPC, and the Kentucky
Division of Air issued air permits for the three projects. The plants
will be built at the Bavarian Landfill in Boone County, the Laurel Ridge
Landfill in Laurel County and the Green Valley Landfill in Greenup County.
At most landfills in Kentucky, gas emitted by decaying trash is emitted
directly into the atmosphere, but the new plants will tap this renewable
resource to make a useful product.
"We're extremely pleased that regulators have agreed with our
position that these projects make good business sense and they are good
for the environment," said EKPC CEO Roy Palk. "We will be
taking a naturally occurring waste product and making affordable electric
The first plant to be constructed will be at the Bavarian Landfill
in Walton, Kentucky. with an anticipated completion date of late summer
2003. A second plant will be built at the Green Valley Landfill with
a scheduled completion date by the end of September 2003. A third plant
is scheduled for the Laurel Ridge Landfill near London, which also should
be completed by the end of September.
Green Valley and Bavarian are designed to produce a little over three
megawatts of electricity, while Laurel Ridge will produce four megawatts.
"Landfill gas is a clean and renewable source of energy,"
said Palk. "Providing this to our member distribution cooperatives
fits with our commitment to be environmentally responsible. The customers
of our member cooperatives have asked for this, and it's the right thing
At least four electric cooperatives will sell the output from the
plants to retail customers through a program called EnviroWatts. Owen
Electric Cooperative, which supplies electricity to nine Northern Kentucky
counties, was the first Kentucky co-op to offer green power to customers.
EnviroWatts began after Owen Electric received inquiries from Toyota
Motor Manufacturing about supplying green power to its North American
headquarters, located in Erlanger. Toyota is purchasing enough renewable
power from Owen Electric to supply a significant portion of the energy
for its laboratory on the headquarters campus.
Through EnviroWatts, customers pay only $2.75 more per month for each
100 kilowatt block of green power.