The coal industry has provided jobs and energy to Eastern Kentucky for decades, but an Eastern Kentucky man says he thinks he can bring a different type of renewable energy into the region.
For decades, companies and individuals have used the wind as a form of energy, an environmentally friendly and renewable source of energy. Now an Eastern Kentucky man says he hopes to bring the first wind energy plant to Kentucky.
Scott Sykes is an Eastern Kentucky native and with his company Genesis Development. He's looking to wind energy as the next way to power the homes in the mountains.
"If there's something we can do here in Eastern Kentucky to develop our economy and to bring that innovative technology here and implement in beautiful places like this," Sykes said.
The U.S. Department of Energy describes wind power as the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity.
"You want a strong consistent wind and generally speaking that occurs in areas that have little obstruction," said James Bush with the Governor's Office of Energy Policy.
Officials with the Governor's Office of Energy Policy says currently there are no forms of wind energy in Kentucky.
"Historically the wind power maps have show Kentucky to have relatively poor potential," Bush said.
But officials say eastern parts of the state show a higher potential for wind power. Sykes says he hopes to work with the coal industry by putting old mountain top removal sites to good use.
"The potential is to have possibly 75 to 100 mega watts here on this site," Sykes said.
Sykes says 1 mega watt can power 650 homes.
"Pike County Kentucky is being built as the energy capital of Kentucky. We have coal, we have gas, and I think we have wind," Sykes said.
Sykes says they are still in the early stages of research, but if he can prove wind as a viable source of energy, he hopes to have a wind energy farm in Eastern Kentucky in a few years.