Tuesday, May 11, 2010

East Kentucky Power Representative Speaks to ETCA Members

Nick Comer, a representative of East Kentucky Power (EKP) spoke to ETCA members at both Adair and Russell County High Schools last Friday, May 7th. He talked in depth about electricity generation and how electricity gets to our homes. One topic that he spent a significant amount of time on the topic of a renewable energy program in which EKP is a partner with University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. There are about 20 farmers in the state of Kentucky that are growing 5 acres each of a native Kentucky grass called switchgrass. Switchgrass has about 70% of the BTU rating as coal. They are studying the harvesting, pelletizing, conveying, and burning of this grass in their boilers. They are investigating issues such as any residues left in the boiler due to the switchgrass, conveying the pellets, percentages of switchgrass to be added in with the coal, etc. It was a very interesting presentation. Mr. Comer spoke to my sophomores last year as well. This time last year, they were just receiving the switchgrass in bales, much like hay. This year, the pellets have been made! What progress! It was very interesting to me to hear the presentation this year and compare it to last year's speech! The students really enjoyed it! They also did well on their quizzes yesterday!

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