Abandoning route would delay new service five to seven more years, add significant costs for customers
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Louisville Gas and Electric Company today reaffirmed that the utility’s existing plan for a natural gas transmission line in the Bullitt County area is the best path forward for providing future natural gas service into the area.
The nearly 12-mile pipeline extension was reviewed and approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission in 2017 and will add much-needed capacity and enhance reliability for existing customers in the Bullitt County area. LG&E has been unable to acquire easements along the pipeline route for 11 remaining pieces of property, two of which were purchased by Bernheim in late 2018 – well after the project was approved – and are located two miles north of the Bernheim Arboretum.
The parcels purchased by Bernheim in late 2018 are not open to the public and contain about 4,000 feet of the 12-mile pipeline route to Bullitt County. That pipeline easement area involves only 0.028 percent of Bernheim’s total holdings of more than 16,000 acres in the region and runs along an existing powerline right-of-way in that area, purposefully chosen to minimize impacts to the countryside.
So far, more than 60 new homes and businesses in Bullitt County have been denied natural gas service because of continued delays to the pipeline project, including two warehouses and a subdivision in the Shepherdsville and Mt. Washington areas. With the existing line at full capacity, the utility will have to continue declining requests for new or expanded service until the new line can be constructed.
“If we abandoned the current plan, there are really only two other alternatives left on the table,” said John P. Malloy, LG&E vice president of gas distribution. “We could start from scratch with new studies for alternative routes, which could take 5 to 7 years and create additional costs for customers; or we could simply forgo future service into Bullitt County. We don’t think either of those options is in the best interest of our customers.”
A long-time supporter of Bernheim with an appreciation for its legacy, LG&E says it also has an obligation to serve the larger community and takes that responsibility seriously.
“Planning for this project has been a time-intensive process with a lot of thoughtful decisions that had to be made along the way. We’re confident our current plan best balances the needs of the community and environment and continue to believe it is the most reasonable and prudent path forward,” added Malloy.
Additional important facts and a project map can be found at lge-ku.com/bernheim.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, is a regulated utility that serves 328,000 natural gas and 414,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. It has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.