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PSC ruling in L-G and E-KU case may give glimpse of future power potential

Mill Creek Generation Stations to be Retired
Lousville Gas and Electric-Kentucky Utilities
Mill Creek Generation Stations to be Retired

A ruling last week by the Kentucky Public Service Commission may offer a keener focus on future energy production in the Commonwealth. It takes some sorting out to get a feel for the potential impact of the PSC order.

The utility regulatory body’s order for Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities companies covers coal, natural gas, and solar-based production. Under the ruling two coal-fired plants will be retired, one next year and one in 2027. The PSC denied a retirement request for two other coal plants. L-G and E Spokeswoman Chris Whelan said, in time, all coal-fueled facilities will likely be closed.

“We have retirement dates for these various facilities as they age out. We would economically retire them. We don’t just close plants to close them. We closed them when they become unaffordable for our customers,” said Whelan.

The ruling gives the go-ahead for a 120 mega-watt solar array in Mercer County and acquiring another in Marion County, plus 125 megawatt battery storage. Andrew McDonald, with the Kentucky Solar Energy Society, said there’s still a place for solar panels on houses.

“When customers put solar on their home, the customer makes the investment, but it still have benefits to all other rate payers. It still reduces the need to burn natural gas and coal in the power plants,” said McDonald.

And the order clears the way for construction of one of two requested natural gas combined-cycle generating units. Catherine Clement with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth said there’s a lot to be pleased with in the PSC ruling.

“The more we put our efforts in energy efficiency programs and demand side management and renewable resources as quickly as possible, the better off we’re gonna be,” said Clement.

And Clement added, what she labels as climate catastrophes and associated costs in lives and structural damage demonstrate the need to move away as much as possible from fossil fuel generation.

Here's more with LG and E-KU Spokeswoman Chris Whelan:


Here's more with Catherine Clement with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth:


Here's more with Andrew McDonald with the Kentucky Solar Energy Society:


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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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