Call to Order and Roll Call
The1st meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture was held on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at 10:00 AM, at the Perkins Building, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky. Representative Tom McKee, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator David Givens, Co-Chair; Representative Tom McKee, Co-Chair; Senators Paul Hornback, Dennis Parrett, Joey Pendleton, Damon Thayer, and Robin L. Webb; Representatives Royce W. Adams, John "Bam" Carney, James R. Comer Jr., Will Coursey, Jim DeCesare, Myron Dossett, C. B. Embry Jr., Kim King, Martha Jane King, Michael Meredith, Brad Montell, Fred Nesler, David Osborne, Sannie Overly, Tom Riner, Steven Rudy, Rita Smart, Wilson Stone, Tommy Turner, and Susan Westrom.
Guests: Rep. John Will Stacy; Sen. Jared Carpenter; Rep. Rocky Adkins; Dr. Jana Vice, Provost, Eastern Kentucky University; Tim Hughes, Director, Division of Biofuels, Energy and Environment Cabinet; Roger Thomas, Executive Director, Governorís Office of Agricultural Policy; Dr. Bruce Pratt, Director, EKU Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies; and Don Pasley, Commissioner of Rural Roads, Transportation Cabinet.
Discussion of Biofuels and Bioenergy:
Tim Hughes, Director, Division of Biofuels, Energy and Environment Cabinet, and Roger Thomas, Executive Director, Governorís Office of Agricultural Policy, gave a presentation on energy-related projects and their relation to the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and the Department for Energy Development and Independence. (For more information, a copy of the presentation can be found in the LRC Library)
Mr. Hughes talked about the stateís energy program as a part of the ARRA. He explained that the program is designed to ensure effective coordination among local, state, and Federal energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative transportation fuel programs within the Commonwealth. The program promotes and encourages energy awareness through public education and by introducing energy-saving technologies in the industrial building, transportation, and utility sectors. The program also encourages and conducts energy audits, promotes the adoption of integrated energy plans, promotes energy efficiency as part of economic development, trains and educates building designers and contractors, supports feasibility studies, and encourages the use of renewable energy technologies.
Mr. Hughes and Mr. Thomas stated that one area that ARRA funds have been invested in is for on-farm energy efficiency and production projects. So far, 100 applications are pending approval. Those projects are valued at approximately $8 million and are projected to generate energy savings of approximately $800,000.
Mr. Thomas discussed projects that the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and the Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation have been involved in, including Commonwealth Agri-Energy and Owensboro Grain Biodiesel.
Discussion of Agri-Energy Relation Activities:
Dr. Bruce R. Pratt, of the Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT), gave an overview of what the Department of Agriculture at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) was doing. He also discussed the energy-saving performance contract at EKU, a $27 million project to upgrade energy efficiency on campus through lighting upgrades, HVAC retrofits, steam heating system upgrades, and water conservation programs. He said the guaranteed energy savings on the project should be approximately $7,900 per day.
Dr. Pratt explained the process involved in converting biomass to biofuels, and what EKU is doing in that field at the CRAFT center. He also discussed the waste Plastic Energy Recovery project, a project developed by General Atomic. They have developed a fuel that mixes dissolved plastics into 100 percent biodiesel and can run in conventional diesel engines.
In conclusion, he stated that the EKU Department of Agriculture is developing Agri-energy options to help students prepare for emerging technologies for on-the-farm energy efficiency and bio-energy production.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.