Part of $600,000 per year matching funds
PIKEVILLE, Ky., March 30, 2016 – SOAR: Shaping Our Appalachian Region on Wednesday became the latest recipient of a Kentucky Power grant earmarked to promote economic development in the region. The organization received the first of three $25,000 annual awards to support its efforts to build the economy of Appalachia Kentucky.
“Kentucky Power is happy to support SOAR and its efforts to improve the job opportunities in the communities we serve,” said Kentucky Power President and COO Greg Pauley. “We take seriously our commitment to partner with local, regional and state organizations like SOAR and others to help bring meaningful, sustainable and good paying jobs to the region. Our grants are one way we can show our pledge to do what we can to help eastern Kentucky prosper.”
SOAR received its grants, totaling $75,000 over three years, through the new Kentucky Power Economic Development Growth Grants (K-PEGG). The K-PEGG is funded through the Kentucky Economic Development Surcharge approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission in 2015. For every 15 cents collected monthly from customers, company stockholders match the customer contributions dollar for dollar to generate $600,000 annually for investment at the local and regional levels. The program is available in all 20 counties served by Kentucky Power.
“We are excited to have Kentucky Power as a partner,” said SOAR Executive Director Jared Arnett. “This grant shows Kentucky Power’s commitment to the region and is critical to SOAR as we work together to build the economy and grow our network across eastern Kentucky.”
The SOAR initiative was launched by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., in 2013, to address historic challenges in eastern Kentucky related to poverty and unemployment. SOAR is intended to help the region develop and put into action new locally oriented strategies to attack persistent challenges.
Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Frankfort, Ky., provides service to nearly 170,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties. It is a unit of the American Electric Power system, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 32,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.