When it comes to renewable energy solar has to be the star, so to speak, followed by wind and then it’s a toss of between geothermal and hydro power. But, even within hydro power, the most often overlooked area is small hydro which is capable of rapid expansion if the financing is there.
Business partners, Bob Fairchild and David Coyte decided to recycle an unused small hydro electric plant upon the Kentucky River. The three water turbines on the lock and dam have been sitting idle for at least 6 years when Coyte and Fairchild decided to revive this renewable energy source.
The business partners can monitor the operation of the hydro turbines from their home computers, but occasionally need to make in person visits to clear debris. The small hydroelectric plant was built in 1928 and is called the Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station.
This station is the only low impact hydroelectric plant in as it “adequately protects river flows, water quality, aquatic life and other factors as certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, an independent non-profit in Maine.”
Coyte and Fairchild have combined recycling with small hydro to provide very clean electricity to the local Kentucky residents. One has to wonder how many other abandoned hydro electric plants around the U. S. could also use a makeover and a kick start to help other communities go a little greener.