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Big Business Pushes for Renewable Energy in Kentucky

Kevin Butte, Toyota's regional environmental sustainability director, at a facility that uses methane to generate clean electricity to help run Toyota's auto plant in central Kentucky. Jennifer Ludden/NPR


.... At Toyota's plant in central Kentucky, Kevin Butt envisions installing solar panels on the roof. The company is also researching fuel cell technology, seeking the breakthrough that could help it eliminate carbon emissions. But for now, he's getting creative about finding renewable energy where he can. He drives me down a rutted dirt road, through towering brown hills. It's a landfill, and here and there, things stick up. "The black tube coming out," he says pointing, "it's a methane capture well." The methane is released as the trash rots. When it goes into the air, methane is a dirty greenhouse gas, but last year Toyota set up a generator here to turn it into clean electricity. The power is sent through an underground line, straight to the Toyota plant 6 miles away, bypassing the local utility altogether. "They either have to put it in their system," Butt says, "or people will be looking at alternate ways to get that energy in a renewable form." The above is an excerpt.  Read the whole article about how big business is fueling bottom-line savvy renewable energy sources here.