Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Geography and Geosciences
Geography (Applied), MS
Day, C. Andrew
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
GIS; coal; hydropower; renewable energy; eastern Kentucky
Coal has a questionable future with the potential exhaustion of available coal. Alternate sources of energy production should be considered, such as hydropower dams, or the more environmentally friendly, Run of River (RoR) hydropower system. This study seeks to answer the question: What is the potential for RoR hydroelectric systems in Eastern Kentucky counties with significant decreases in coal production and employment? I hypothesize that GIS will identify suitable sites within Pike County for RoR systems. Site suitability for Eastern Kentucky was assessed and determined that Pike County did not have a suitable physical environment for RoR systems. The power generation was too low for efficient use. Future studies could expand the research into other locations, focusing on watersheds with the most potential. With appropriate landscape requirements, RoR systems have a smaller environmental impact than traditional dams, and potential for economic benefit from producing jobs and energy supply.
Jeffords, Thomas, "Potential for developing run-of-river systems in eastern Kentucky : a GIS approach to site suitability." (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2943.