New business investment and more jobs in Kentucky are the economic rewards of electric cooperatives’ leadership in renewable energy access. We’re working every day to not only provide reliable, affordable electricity, but to bring good paying jobs here through economic investments in our community.
Along with wanting reliable, cost-effective energy, companies looking to locate or expand in the U.S. are also prioritizing the availability of renewable energy. Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, including Grayson RECC are checking all the energy boxes to land deals the entire world is talking about.
“Almost every project we’re working is looking for a pathway to renewable energy,” said Brad Thomas of Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. “And our cooperatives have built a reputation for being an excellent energy partner.”
Thomas credits far-sighted projects such as establishing the Cooperative Solar Farm One facility and membership in PJM, a regional electricity transmission organization, with positioning Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives to deliver in-demand renewable energy options.
Pernod Ricard is among companies that have recently announced plans to build in Kentucky. The French-owned business is constructing a 75,000-square-foot facility that will produce bourbon with zero fossil fuel consumption.
“There are only two carbon neutral distilleries in the U.S., and both are in Kentucky and on our co-op lines,” Thomas said. Potential investors from Europe and Asia have taken notice and are seeking out Touchstone Energy’s Kentucky economic development team to learn more about local opportunities.
Thomas believes co-ops also offer something extra to would-be investors.
“Our ‘secret sauce’ is that we can be agile and work closely with the companies — something investor-owned utilities can’t do,” he said.
The best may be yet to come as the co-op economic development team continues promoting rural Kentucky as a desirable location for companies seeking access to renewable energy.
“There are some big announcements coming, the biggest North America has ever seen,” Thomas predicted.