Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear along with Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes visited General Electric’s (GE) Aviation Division in Madisonville, Ky, on Sept. 27 to view the results of the company’s recent lighting retrofit investment project.
GE Aviation was awarded $200,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to replace old, inefficient lighting with advanced energy efficient fixtures.
“My Energy and Environment Cabinet and Economic Development Cabinet collaborated to secure federal stimulus dollars for several energy efficiency retrofitting projects at industrial facilities across our state,” said Gov. Beshear. “Projects like the one we celebrate today at GE Aviation are proof that these stimulus dollars are truly well spent, showing that when government works hand in hand with the private sector, big things can happen.”
GE Aviation was one of seven companies selected for a grant through a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP), which was administered by the Cabinet for Economic Development through a partnership with the Department for Energy Development and Independence. More than $4 million in total ARRA funds have been awarded to date through this initiative.
The cabinet provides 50 percent of the funds needed to complete the lighting upgrades and each company provides the additional funding required to complete its project. GE estimates that the lighting retrofit project will save the company $200,000 per year in utility costs, while providing better lighting in which to work and reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
“GE has a strong commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the energy efficiencies of our operations,” said David Groth, plant leader at GE Aviation’s Madisonville facility. “At the same time, our facility needs to ensure our investment decisions make economic sense. The ARRA funding made available through the state enabled our site to put this lighting retrofit project on the fast track and begin reducing our energy usage. The payback for both GE and the state is well worth the investment.”
The purpose of the grant funding is to accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy industrial projects for businesses locating or expanding operations in Kentucky that create or retain jobs while saving energy and reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, the funding helps achieve the goals set by Gov. Steve Beshear’s Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky’s Future: Kentucky’s 7-Point Energy Strategy. Information on additional ARRA funded state energy projects is available online atenergy.ky.gov/StimulusPrograms/Pages/default.aspx. More information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.