We are in the largest construction phase of LG&E and KU’s history, in part to meet more stringent federal environmental regulations that begin taking effect in 2015.
As a result of stricter regulations, we are retiring 13 percent of our utilities’ coal-fired units and investing nearly $3 billion in upgrades to our remaining coal-fired generating units.
In order to replace this soon-to-be retired generation, we are constructing Kentucky’s first natural gas combined-cycle generating unit at our Cane Run location in Jefferson County.
We also filed certificates of public convenience and necessity this January with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to construct a second natural gas combined-cycle generating unit at the our Green River location in Muhlenberg County and a 10-megwatt solar generating unit at another location.
If approved, our company’s generation capacity will become 59 percent coal-fired, 40 percent natural gas and 1 percent renewable.
Complying with regulations
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets health-based standards, which are reviewed every five years, under the Clean Air Act Rules that apply to all emission sources in communities across the country. Examples of sources we see every day in our communities include vehicles, businesses and power plants.
- The utility industry is one of the most regulated industries in the nation. At LG&E and KU, we are continually investing in our facilities to ensure our company complies with local, state and federal environmental regulations.
- This includes monitoring, measuring and reporting our facilities’ performances to the appropriate regulatory agencies.
General characteristics of coal combustion residuals
Coal combustion residuals – also known as coal ash – are a byproduct of the coal combustion process that comes from left-over dirt from the coal mining process. Coal ash typically contains 55 percent silica, or sand, as well as calcium, iron, potassium and aluminum oxides and trace metal oxides.
In general, the elements that make up coal ash are very similar to the elements that make up Kentucky’s soils. The composition of coal ash can vary, depending on where it was mined and how deep it was located beneath the ground’s surface.