Research & Development

The mission of the Research and Development department is to research technologies that improve how LG&E and KU provide safe, reliable, sustainable energy at a reasonable cost while analyzing technologies that change the way our customers use energy.  LG&E and KU, in conjunction with its parent company PPL and its other subsidiaries, have more than 150 active research projects underway with more than $92 million in federal funding.

The projects, many of which are based in Kentucky and in partnership with the University of Kentucky, EPRI and other industry organizations, include advanced tracking solar, battery energy storage, microgrid, green hydrogen, point source carbon capture, direct air capture and wind. Here are just a few of the projects and partnerships in which we’re actively involved that are keeping us on the forefront of innovation for the benefit of our customers and the communities we serve:

three employees standing next to electric vehicles and large battery storage unit

Operating Kentucky’s largest battery

We operate Kentucky's first and largest utility-scale energy storage system. Our on-site lithium-ion battery directly supports our E.W. Brown Solar facility, allowing solar energy to be stored during the daytime and used during the night.

Solar field

Integrating renewable energy into our grid

We’re tackling the challenge of how to safely and reliably integrate solar energy into our energy grid. Because we can’t control when the sun shines, we are solving for the challenge of how best solar energy can complement our “always-on” generation fleet in partnership with the University of Kentucky.

Sheep at the solar field

Maintaining vegetation sustainably with solar sheep

Have ewe heard about our latest all-natural partnership? A team of woolly cool weed eaters from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is keeping the vegetation in check at our E.W. Brown solar facility, the largest of its kind in the state.

Field of wild flowers under powerlines

Growing pollinator habitats

We’re working to establish more than 100 acres of pollinator habitats rich with native plants that create an environment to attract and support pollinators such as native bees, honey bees and monarch butterflies.

Solar field

Showing solar energy generation in real time

Want to see how solar energy is generated in real-time? We‘ve developed online dashboards that translate millions of data points collected from our E.W. Brown and Solar Share facilities into stats that will help you understand more about solar energy’s capabilities.

solar-powered electric vehicle charging station

Using solar to power electric vehicle charging stations

We operate Kentucky's first two solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations, in addition to offering a variety of traditional public and hosted stations across our service area.

Carbon capture technology

Capturing carbon and producing hydrogen

We’ve partnered with the University of Kentucky on carbon capture research since 2005 and our combined team continues to innovate in decarbonization and hydrogen technology. Our team also built and operates Kentucky's largest carbon capture system, which has been capturing carbon dioxide from flue gas at our E.W. Brown Generating Station since 2014. A new carbon capture R&D project is also planned at our Cane Run Generating Station.

Engineering students at a table showing an electric demonstration

A special thanks to our partners

Our Research and Development Department is responsible for coordinating LG&E and KU’s relationships with external research organizations that include the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Their partnerships have been instrumental in advancing research and development projects that are helping us empower Kentucky‘s energy future.