LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric want to replace four aging coal-fired units with new generating stations that will use natural gas and solar energy as part of a $2 billion replacement generation project.
“So it would just be cost-inefficient, if you will, to continue to make any kind of enhancements or incremental investments in these generation units. So that’s kind of where we’re coming from with the retirement, with the proposal, said spokesperson Natasha Collins, spokesperson for LG&E.
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There are five regional meetings where customers can share their opinions about the plan. The first stop was Lexington.
“The biggest issue is I’m against building any more coal plants. I’m against building any more gas plants, and look around Kentucky, what I see is energy waste. Everywhere I look and it drives me crazy,” said a Lexington resident who attended the meeting.
The proposal includes replacing the current aging generation systems with two natural gas combined cycle facilities, two solar facilities, one battery storage facility, and four solar power purchase agreements.
“This meeting is part of that transparent process. We are open and glad to participate in that process even when it comes to intervenors. You know, we all have different perspectives, but there’s no reason why it can’t all be taken into consideration,” Collins said.
If approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission, the replacement generating station would be operating between 2026 and 2028.
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“Corporations like KU, LGE refuse to act with the urgency necessary, I applaud KU for trying to retire these coal and natural gas plants, but we need to do more to allow the building of new gas plants and renewable energy increasingly affordable and the only way forward,” said another resident in the city who attended the meeting.
There are several opportunities for public comment in Louisville, Harlan, and Madisonville. The public hearing in Frankfort will be on Aug. 22.