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 this year.
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 constructed Kentucky’s first natural gas combined-cycle generating unit at our Cane Run location in Jefferson County, which is now operating and serving our customers.
In addition, we are constructing a 10-megawatt solar generating facility in Mercer County at our E.W. Brown Generating Station. The facility is expected to go online in 2016.
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.