FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 15, 2020) – Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Secretary Rebecca Goodman today announced a new partnership between the Office of Energy Policy (OEP) and the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves (KNP) to provide a free, data analysis service to energy developers.
The Kentucky Biological Assessment Tool (KY-BAT), developed and maintained by KNP, provides information to help projects avoid and minimize potential impacts to sensitive plants, animals and natural communities.
“I’m excited about this project that helps us move toward a sustainable future while also protecting our current ecological communities,” said Gov. Beshear. “All Kentuckians benefit when we safeguard our state’s beautiful natural environments.”
“This partnership is a great example of state agencies working together for a common goal,” Secretary Goodman said. “As we continue to work Healthy at Home, our staff continues to identify new and innovative opportunities to fulfill our mission, supporting economic growth while protecting the environment.”
Zeb Weese, Executive Director of KNP, said this partnership is an important link between endangered species and renewable energy.
“Many environmentally-minded citizens interested in renewable energy are also interested in the conservation of endangered species,” Weese said. “KNP’s natural heritage database contains over 20,000 species and rare community site-specific records. We track or monitor nearly 1,000 species and ecological communities, as well as natural areas throughout the state.”
By using this data, Weese said, OEP will be able to identify ecologically sensitive areas and help site energy projects appropriately.
Kenya Stump, OEP Executive Director, said providing great customer service is at the heart of what the energy office does for the commonwealth. “Many renewable energy projects being developed are supporting those businesses operating in Kentucky with sustainability goals,” Stump said. “These energy projects directly and indirectly support jobs in Kentucky and we want to be prepared to assist and streamline the process.”
The KY-BAT project offered through this partnership provides data services at no cost, but it is limited to 20 projects on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For more information, or to submit a project for this free data service, please contact Kenya Stump, email@example.com.