We’ve committed with our parent company, PPL, to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and are on track to achieve an 80% reduction from 2010 levels by 2040 and a 70% reduction by 2035. We believe that an all-of-the above approach is needed to support a sustainable clean energy transition. In that spirit, LG&E and KU have become global leaders in carbon capture technology that enables low carbon, dispatchable generation and supports energy reliability and resilience. We’re also researching green hydrogen technology that will enable us to store intermittent renewable energy. These clean energy research and development projects will help us meet PPL’s ambitious goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while keeping costs low for our customers.
In 2006, LG&E and KU founded the carbon capture program at the University of Kentucky (UK) and continue to partner with the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) on this important research. In 2014, we deployed the capture technology that the team developed in a pilot-scale carbon capture unit at the E.W. Brown Generating Station, which is one of a few power plants in the United States today with an active carbon capture system. This joint research at our site has lowered capture costs by forty percent and lead to numerous patents and academic publications. In 2021, LG&E and KU continue to partner with UK studying carbon capture with natural gas using the existing carbon capture system at E.W. Brown. The next stage of this research would be to demonstrate carbon capture at LG&E and KU’s Cane Run Station, a natural gas combined cycle plant.
We are also working with our partners at UK, DOE, and EPRI’s Low Carbon Resource Initiative (LCRI) on hydrogen production and direct air capture technology capable of 90% carbon capture while producing 99.9% purity hydrogen gas. We have successfully demonstrated at UK’s laboratories in Lexington, Kentucky and are planning for a larger-scale demonstration. This technology could enable a generating unit to not only be net-zero, but even be net-negative, by capturing ambient carbon dioxide and producing hydrogen right out of thin air. We plan to continue to lead research, development, and demonstration of carbon capture and hydrogen production technology.