LG&E and KU's clean coal technology projects kick off at Mill Creek
Improvements expected to create nearly 700 construction jobs
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With nearly $940 million in environmental upgrades beginning at the Mill Creek Generating Station in southwestern Jefferson County, LG&E and KU along with state and local officials reiterated today their commitment to clean coal and low-cost energy.
In a press conference that featured Mayor Greg Fischer; Representative Jim Gooch, chair of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee Kentucky House of Representatives; Secretary of Energy and Environment Len Peters; Allison Martin, chief of staff for the Kentucky Attorney General; and company officials, LG&E and KU announced that the largest of the utilities' environmental upgrades at Mill Creek are about to begin and their contractor, Zachry Industrial Inc., will open their Mill Creek hiring office on Dec. 3.
"This is a large leap forward for LG&E and for our city, as it will help improve our air while also using the latest technology - and creating 700 jobs in the process," Fischer said.
"Coal has and will continue to be a major contributor to the economic vitality of Kentucky, and with even more stringent environmental regulations, it's great to see companies like LG&E and KU demonstrating their commitment to the long-term use of this natural resource," Gooch added.
"Clean coal technology investments such as these help secure jobs for the miners in Kentucky, and create economic development opportunities for the Commonwealth," Peters concluded.
The Kentucky Public Service Commission requires state utilities like LG&E and KU to produce energy at the lowest-cost for customers. Coal has historically been the least-cost method to generate electricity. However, that is not always the case due to the stricter EPA regulations. Mill Creek, along with Ghent, Brown 3 and Trimble County 1 generating stations, will be upgraded with modern technology ensuring LG&E and KU continue to use Illinois Basin coal to provide low cost and reliable electricity to Kentucky residential, commercial and industrial customers.
The new equipment, which includes scrubbers on all four units at Mill Creek, will further increase the station's ability to control sulfur dioxide emissions from current levels (around 90 percent) to a more than 98 percent removal rate. In addition, new fabric filter baghouse technologies will be installed on all four units to remove mercury and fine particulates. The upgrades are expected to be completed by 2016.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve a total of 1.2 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 321,000 natural gas and 397,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. Kentucky Utilities serves 546,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.