Drones used to map industrial park for potential businesses
MAGOFFIN – On Monday an energy cooperative group made strides toward putting Magoffin’s industrial park on the map for economic development.
Kerry Howard with Licking Valley RECC, which is a member of Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperative (KTEC), explained that the work they were doing on Monday is the furthest stride made in economic development for Magoffin County.
KTEC has contracted Qk4 to use drones to fly over industrial sites and collect video, digitized mapping and other data, which can be uploaded online and used to promote the industrial sites to businesses.
Rodney Hitch, the economic development manager of KTEC, said, “We have over 20 parks now flown over, with 87 counties covered and 16 energy co-ops involved. We have over a dozen projects linked to this project. I’ve had one company tell me they have 11 sites they’re working on in Kentucky, and eight were drone sites, so we know it’s working.”
The drones that flew over the Magoffin County Industrial Park, near the Gifford Exit of the Mountain Parkway, instantly collected data and digitized maps about the site and they were able to superimpose potential layouts of buildings on the site. That information was put into video form and uploaded to YouTube, at https://youtu.be/53M7gigbAv8, or by searching “PowerVision Magoffin.” It will also be included in StateBook on KTEC’s website, https://dataispower.org/state-book/, which is the website they use to promote economic development for their coverage areas.
The data, which was collected at no cost to the utility customers, is available for free online, and viewable on smartphones, in efforts of putting the information literally in the hands of those potentially willing to invest in the area.
“Over 90 percent of what these companies learn about the community, they learn online, so this puts the data for the whole region all in their hands,” Hitch said. “We’re energy companies, but data is power.”