Harder times expected with loss of Ky. power plant

LOUISA, Ky. (AP) - For decades, the Big Sandy power plant near Louisa did more than keep the lights on. It supplied the Appalachian town with tax revenue and some of the best-paying jobs around as it converted coal into electricity.

Massive piles of coal are still stacked outside the Big Sandy complex in Lawrence County, but now its prospects are dim.

Kentucky Power Co. operates the two-unit Big Sandy complex and plans to close the larger 800-megawatt unit in 2015. Dozens of prime jobs will be lost in a county of 16,000 people with little other industry and a jobless rate around 10 percent.

The utility will pump more than $1.1 million into the area in coming years to try to soften the setback. The money is earmarked for economic development efforts, but local officials are skeptical the contribution will stimulate much growth.

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