Lumber producer's sister company plans wood-burning power plant in Kentucky

A Lexington, Ky., company hopes to begin construction by the end of the year on a plant in Perry County that would burn wood to generate electricity.

There are several steps that ecoPower Generation LLC will have to complete first, however. Those include getting approval from air-quality regulators and a state board that oversees the siting of such plants. The company has asked that board for a permit to build the plant on 125 acres in Coal Fields Regional Industrial Park north of Hazard, and has applied for a permit covering emissions.

The plant would be small, producing enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 30,000 homes, said Crawford, a former executive with East Kentucky Power Cooperative. Low-grade logs and wood waste would be burned at the plant to produce power. EcoPower Generation is a sister company of Pine Mountain Lumber, a hardwood producer that would supply 25 percent or more of the wood.

The state has approved the plant for as much as $15 million in tax incentives if it creates jobs as proposed.

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