Innovative and cost-effective power generation

Cane Run Generating Station was the answer to Louisville’s electricity needs during the dynamic decade of the 1950s. Construction of this new coal-fired plant was started in 1952 to help meet the demand for electricity by industries that located in this area during and after the Second World War.

Cane Run began operation in November 1954, and by 1969 operated a total of six units. The new units were added in 1956, 1958, 1962, 1966 and 1969, increasing the total generating capacity to 943 megawatts.

Units 1, 2 and 3 were retired by 1987. Units 4, 5 and 6 are still operational, with a current net generating capacity of 563 megawatts. Cane Run also operates five combustion turbines located in the Louisville Metro area with a combined net generating capacity of 221 megawatts.

The primary fuel for the Cane Run plant is high-sulfur coal shipped by rail from western Kentucky and southern Indiana. The plant currently burns about 1.5 million tons annually. The station’s environmental controls include an electrostatic precipitator, low-NOx burners, and a wet lime scrubber.

July 1979 — President Jimmy Carter visits Cane Run

LG&E pioneered SO2 removal technology, and helped develop and install one of the nation’s first SO2 scrubbers in 1973. Scrubbers are environmental controls that remove SO2 from gases produced by burning coal. LG&E received coveted awards and was recognized nationally and internationally for its efforts in the use of scrubbers. In July 1979, President Jimmy Carter visited Cane Run to learn about the operation of a coal-fired plant and see LG&E’s scrubbers in action.

Carter advocated the use of coal in ways that would not be harmful to the environment, and he specifically chose to visit an LG&E plant because of the company’s reputation for being a leader in the development and use of scrubbers. The presidential visit was a proud moment for Cane Run Station and LG&E. Many of the employees who were present then are still with the company today.