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Alternative Energy Alternative Energy (11865 KB)

The West Kentucky Advantage

  • The West Kentucky Megasite (WKM) is well-positioned for alternative energy development, with particular strengths in biomass and coal-related technologies.
  • The Kentucky Economic Development and Finance Authority provides tax incentives to construct, retrofit, or upgrade an alternative fuel production or gasification facility that uses coal or biomass as a feedstock.
  • Tax credits are also available for qualified biodiesel producers or blenders, as well as qualified ethanol producers.
  • The total biomass available in the counties surrounding the WKM is estimated at nearly 2 million tonnes/year, among the largest feedstock availability in the state.
  • Coal blending facilities are present in the region (at Kentucky Dam and Paducah) and substantial coal shipments occur on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers which are within 20 miles of the site.
  • The region has a long history of working in heavy manufacturing, chemical production, and nuclear energy, as well as an agricultural tradition.


Highlights from the evaluation of the WKM for alternative energy uses

Electric Significant substation located approx. 3 miles from WKM. Offers the potential to extend utilities (161 kV or 138 kV line) and serve as the transmission point for electricity generated on site.
Natural Gas Access to 8-inch ATMOS line is available within 6,000 feet of the site.
Water Mean annual stream flows of 123MGD at Mayfield Creek Mile 30. Low-flow yields between 4.8 MGD (7Q10)and 8.4 MGD (7Q2). Demonstrated well production of 900 GPM.
Biomass Biomass availability in Graves and surrounding counties is estimated at 1,945,564 tonnes per year by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Workforce & Training

The Purchase Region has a long tradition of manufacturing and a pool of workers in relevant occupations PROFILE OF KEY OCCUPATIONS WITHIN 60-MILE RADIUS OF WEST KENTUCKY MEGASITE

SOC Code Description Employment Location Quotient(1) Median Hourly Earnings Relative Wage (US = 1.00)
49-9042 Maintenance & Repair Workers, General 2,332 1.18 $15.03 0.94
11-1021 General and operations managers 2,260 0.90 $30.00 0.70
51-1011 First-line supervisors / managers of production and operating workers 1,356 1.51 $23.43 0.95
51-4121 Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers 1,108 1.99 $15.08 0.87
49-9041 Industrial machinery mechanics 1,053 2.50 $20.44 0.95
49-1011 First-line supervisors/managers of mechanics, installers, and repairers 770 1.25 $24.59 0.89
51-9061 Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers 717 1.12 $14.88 0.94
49-9051 Electrical power-line installers and repairers 358 2.18 $28.85 1.06
51-8091 Chemical plant and system operators 235 3.94 $26.45 1.02
17-2112 Industrial engineers 193 0.62 $33.39 0.93
15-1051 Computer systems analysts 183 0.21 $17.53 0.51
17-2141 Mechanical engineers 172 0.50 $32.34 0.89
11-9041 Engineering managers 156 0.62 $46.21 0.83
19-2041 Environmental scientists and specialists, including health 127 0.97 $17.38 0.61
15-1031 Computer software engineers, applications 121 0.15 $20.60 0.52
17-2199 Engineers, all other 98 0.37 $33.00 0.84
51-2022 Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers 98 0.38 $11.45 0.83
19-4031 Chemical technicians 98 1.10 $28.03 1.39
19-2031 Chemists 86 0.77 $28.88 0.89
17-2071 Electrical engineers 65 0.30 $37.15 0.95
SOURCE: EMSI Complete Employment - 2011.2, TIP Strategies, Inc.
(1) Location quotients (LQs) represent a ratio of employment relative to the US. LQs greater than or equal to 1.25 suggest a specialization.


This profile covers one of three priority industry targets identified by Austin-based TIP Strategies as a fit for the WKM based on an analysis of the region's strengths.

  Information on this page was provided in part from TIP STRATEGIES, INC. (TIP) and Wadley Donovan GrowthTech, LLC. TIP is a privately held Austin-based economic development consulting firm which assisted West Kentucky Megasite with analysis of the regional workforce and identification of potential target industry opportunities. For their complete report, click on the TIP Workforce Analysis Link in the right sidebar. A complete current demographic profile complied by Wadley Donovan GrowthTech, LLC is also available in the right sidebar.