Co-ops thank leaders for working to attract $2.5B in projects to rural Kentucky

Rural Kentucky has a lot to look forward to during the next few years, thanks to 2018’s banner year for announcements of new and expanding businesses.

Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives on Thursday congratulated and thanked the hundreds of leaders whose hard work helped to bring about corporate decisions to spend $2.5 billion and create nearly 3,000 jobs in coming years in 87 counties of rural Kentucky served by the co-ops.

“There are so many people and organizations who have contributed tremendously to this success, including local elected officials, industrial authorities and economic development directors, all working in concert with state elected officials and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development,” said Rodney Hitch, Economic Development director for Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.

“Everybody has a vital role, and everybody hit it out of the park in 2018,” Hitch said.

Gov. Matt Bevin echoed those comments.

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Drones used to map industrial park for potential businesses

MAGOFFIN – On Monday an energy cooperative group made strides toward putting Magoffin’s industrial park on the map for economic development.

Kerry Howard with Licking Valley RECC, which is a member of Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperative (KTEC), explained that the work they were doing on Monday is the furthest stride made in economic development for Magoffin County.

KTEC has contracted Qk4 to use drones to fly over industrial sites and collect video, digitized mapping and other data, which can be uploaded online and used to promote the industrial sites to businesses.

Read the full story on The Salyersville Independent →

Shelby Energy, Norfolk Southern Railway partner to promote Shelbyville site to employers

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2017) — Shelby Energy Cooperative and Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are using high-tech tools to help draw employers to a high-profile Shelbyville, Ky., site.

The 400-acre Norfolk Southern property, located adjacent to Interstate 64 in Shelbyville, is the latest site showcased on www.DataIsPower.org, which features locations available to commercial and industrial businesses looking to expand or relocate. Videos and detailed data about the property appear on the PowerVision page of the web site.

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The property features ready accessibility to rail and interstate transportation, as well as the nearby Louisville International Airport and UPS Centennial Hub.

Working closely with Norfolk Southern, which owns the property, the cooperatives used aerial drones to film and digitally map and analyze the land, producing a five-minute flyover video and another video featuring three-dimensional analysis of the site.

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Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives receive international award for economic development

Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives have earned international acclaim for their success in using innovative technology to bring jobs and investment to Kentucky.

The cooperatives were awarded the Excellence In Economic Development Award for New Media on Tuesday at the International Economic Development Council’s annual conference in Toronto.

“We compete every day against economic development professionals around the globe, so it is truly an honor to be recognized for innovation by the world’s premier economic development organization,” said Rodney Hitch, Manager of Economic Development for Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.

To better gain attention for communities located primarily in rural Kentucky, the co-ops have developed ground-breaking tools to showcase Kentucky’s resources to industries looking to expand or relocate.

In particular, the IEDC award singled out PowerMap featuring StateBook and PowerVision, a project that combines GPS mapping with StateBook’s economic development database and drone-captured video and data to make Kentucky’s sites highly visible and accessible around the globe. And it’s all contained in applications for handheld devices.

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Drones used to map Elk Mountain site

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Three certified drone pilots (left to right) Scott Fontan, Ben Shinabery and Paige Wilson used drones to map the Elk Mountain Industrial site.
Drones used to map Elk Mountain site


Businesses that may be interested in locating on the Elk Mountain Industrial site will soon be able to get a birds-eye view of available sites and tracts, along with vital information about Manchester without leaving the comfort their office.

Jamie Shepherd, Director of Community and Economic Development for Jackson Energy and Clay County Interim Judge-Executive Johnny Johnson were on hand as drones were used to map the Elk Mountain Industrial site.

Read the full article on The Manchester Enterprise →

Digital Spec Development Arrives

EKPC’s PowerVision to showcase rural industrial sites remotely through mobile technology

By Chris Clair

The new Powervision website and app created by East Kentucky Power Cooperative combines existing data with drone images and engineering renderings to allow prospects to preliminarily assess Kentucky development sites without physically visiting remote properties.

The new PowerVision website and app created by East Kentucky Power Cooperative combines existing data with drone images and engineering renderings to allow prospects to preliminarily assess Kentucky development sites without physically visiting remote properties.

East Kentucky Power Cooperative is releasing a dramatic new digital site presentation tool it thinks could change the economic development game in its rural service territory, and maybe for the state. It enables a prospect in Germany or New Jersey to see a Kentucky site in three dimensions, its pertinent infrastructure both existing or as it could be installed, and include renderings of the facility they want to build.

The PowerVision web site and associated app for mobile devices combines high-definition aerial drone video of industrial sites with digital topographic mapping and detailed engineering information to create three-dimensional surface models. That’s then merged with data from StateBook, which aggregates community demographic, tax, utility cost, incentive and quality of life information.

Read the full article on The Lane Report →