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Neighbors Powering What Matters

Community Energy: the benefit of West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation and TVA working together
Community Energy

Community Energy—In Our Region, Power Means More

Western Kentucky is powered by a public power model — owned by and accountable to the people who live here. So the initiatives we invest in through our power model serve one purpose: helping our communities thrive.

Because we support public power, we all benefit from Community Energy. It’s the progress our model enables — like more job opportunities thanks to thriving and growing communities, outdoor recreation made possible by our protected lands, cleaner energy sources, and much more.

A Partnership of Service

West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation and TVA work together to power not just our homes and businesses, but our potential too — by combining efforts to help create a future we all believe in.

Working Together to Make Life in Our Community Better

Collective Spirit of Service Shines Through

WKRECC and TVA were founded on a mission to serve — through reliable and affordable energy, a safe and protected environment and thriving economic development.

WKRECC provides electricity to about 40,000 homes and businesses in Western Kentucky, serving members in Murray and Hazel in Calloway County, Bardwell and Arlington in Carlisle County, Wingo, Water Valley, and part of Mayfield in Graves County, and Benton and Hardin in Marshall County.

When a fierce tornado struck Kentucky in December 2021, WKRECC’s service area was hit hard. “The level of destruction was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The path was 38 miles long and a mile wide across our service territory,” David Smart, president and CEO of WKRECC says.

The local power company’s commitment to the communities it serves was on full display that night and in the days afterward, as staff quickly gathered to develop a plan and fanned out to assess the damage. “Within 48 hours, there were 115 crew members from other cooperatives on site, working hard alongside our own staff to get the lights back on for WKRECC members. Together, we restored power to most members within five days,” Smart says. During the restoration process, crews replaced more than 450 broken poles and 275 transformers.

The residents of Marshall and Graves counties suffered the most damage, and continue to rebuild. “The road to full recovery will be long,” Smart says, “but our communities, their leaders and support systems are resilient and are meeting the challenge head-on.”

This natural disaster compounded the struggles Western Kentucky already faced by the ongoing pandemic. Through WKRECC and TVA’s commitment to community, they found a way to provide relief. When the TVA COVID-19 Community Care Fund became available, WKRECC’s board immediately matched TVA’s $20,000 pledge to meet community needs. Georgann Lookofsky, communications and media relations coordinator, WKRECC, says, “A lot of our members struggle financially, and that was aggravated during the early days of the pandemic. We focused the first round of the grant on gifts to food pantries that were directly helping our members and others.”

WKRECC also matched $20,000 for the second round of funding, and used most of it to support the Family Resource and Youth Service Centers in local schools. Lookofsky says, “They provide groceries and send extra food home with kids on the weekends. They also offer some medical services, counseling and clothing.” In addition, WKRECC provided utility bill assistance, and partnered with the United Way in Calloway County as grants administrator.

She says, “The extra funding was huge because the need has never been greater. It was a wonderful resource. TVA was proactive and offered the funds to local power companies and let them decide how to use those dollars to best meet local needs. We appreciate that there were very few limitations. WKRECC members benefited greatly from the food and essential services made possible by the Community Care grants.”

On a more playful note, in 2019, WKRECC employees worked together to renovate Kirskey ballpark, which had been vacant for several years, and prepared it for use by Murray Rockets Special Olympics in Calloway County. Volunteer teams removed 15 tons of debris from the facility, tore down old fencing, cleared grass and stone from the infield. They mowed and trimmed, built dugouts, repaired bleachers and fences and painted the backstop and TVA assisted with technical planning and lighting. All the efforts helped make for a beautiful, inclusive space for those with intellectual disabilities to play softball, with additional improvements creating space for flag football and soccer.

Our energy has fueled progress in our region since 1933. See the ways it's helping shape our future.

Resources for Your Home, Business and Life

Our partnership makes helpful programs like these possible.

Economic Development

West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (WKRECC) works with TVA Economic Development to attract companies that will bring jobs to the area and help existing businesses and industries grow in a sustainable way.

TVA Economic Development serves the seven states that make up the TVA service area—almost all of Tennessee and parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. Partnerships with other economic development organizations also help to foster capital investment and increase employment opportunities in the region.

In August of 2022, PRCO America, Inc. began production at its plant near Mayfield Kentucky, which will eventually employ 50 people. WKRECC provides TVA-generated power for this site, which initially broke ground in 2021. The company manufactures resin bonded magnesia-carbon, resin bonded magnesia-alumina-carbon, and resin bonded alumina refractory ceramic shapes, used to line steel processing furnaces and contain molten metal at over 3,000 degrees Farenheit.



WKRECC and TVA work together to support community-wide learning about energy efficiency, meet STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) objectives and provide opportunities to develop skills that can prepare students for careers in technical fields.


Teachers in public schools that receive power from a TVA distributor can win STEM grants up to $5,000. In 2022 alone, TVA distributed $1 million, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated, a TVA retiree organization, and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. TVA gives preference to applications covering its primary areas of focus–environment, energy, economic development, and community problem solving.

Calloway North Elementary School received a TVA STEM grant in 2022. School media specialist Laken Falwell says, “I am so grateful for this opportunity to put engaging STEM materials into the hands of our students.” She says the learning materials they are able to purchase with this funding “allow students to further investigate different career paths and fields. Thank you, TVA, for helping make the futures of our students even brighter!”

“West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative is proud to distribute energy generated by TVA and to offer benefits like these that help power a better way of life in the communities we serve,” David Smart, president & CEO, WKRECC says.

TVA EnergyRight® School Uplift

Schools enrolled in TVA EnergyRight® School Uplift receive infrastructure upgrades to reduce energy costs and improve the quality of the learning environment. Heating, cooling and lighting improvements are the tip of the iceberg, however as the program’s focus is long-term learning for communities. Students and faculty at chosen schools receive behavior-based strategic energy management (SEM) training and learn easy, actionable energy saving tips and energy efficiency practices.

Graves County Middle School in Mayfield, Kentucky received a $100,000 Learning Environment Grant through TVA’s School Uplift program. Georgann Lookofsky, communications and media relations coordinator says,“We have access to these kinds of opportunities because we are a part of the TVA family.”

“School Uplift is another way we’ve partnered with TVA to invest in our communities,” says Smart. “We are so excited that Graves County Middle School received this grant, which enables administrators to make needed upgrades to improve their facility. The faculty, staff and students have committed to making energy efficiency a priority over the last school year and earned this grant through their hard work.”

EnergyRight® Energy Monsters

TVA and local power companies partner up to bring EnergyRight® Energy Monsters workshops to schools to teach where energy comes from, how we use it and ways to save at home. Students can take home Eye Spy Energy Kits to continue the energy savings fun with their families.

Working Together

West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (WKRECC) partners with TVA to provide safe, reliable, clean power to service area customers. TVA supplies community energy to 153 local power companies and about 60 large industrial customers and federal facilities at the lowest feasible cost. For more than 20 years, TVA’s transmission system has achieved a reliability rate of 99.999 percent.

More than half of the electricity generated by TVA is derived from carbon-free resources. TVA’s diverse energy portfolio includes coal, gas, nuclear and hydroelectric plants as well as renewables.

Transmission lines


West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (WKRECC) partners with TVA to help customers make smart energy decisions and save money through TVA EnergyRight®.

Together, they provide resources that help customers make smart home energy decisions. From DIY energy-saving advice to reputable local contractor recommendations, TVA EnergyRight® offers ways to help improve home energy efficiency and save money on the power bill.

As of September 2022, 40 homes in the WKRECC service area have benefited from TVA Home Uplift, which WKRECC president & CEO David Smart explains greatly improves quality of life for qualifying homeowners and in many cases, helps older homeowners remain in their updated homes and maintain their independence.

He says, “Home Uplift is truly a difference maker for our members. And we are proud to be a leader in bringing TVA’s Home Uplift program to our rural communities.”

A woman adjusting the temperature for a smart thermostat on a tablet