Louisville Gas & Electric announced today that its coal-fired power plant in southwest Louisville will be taken offline by 2016. The company will build a new natural gas-fired plant on the same property.
This is an option LG&E has been weighing publicly since April. In an interview earlier this summer, Vice President John Voyles said the final decision would come down to whether it was cheaper to retrofit Cane Run with newer pollution controls to meet upcoming federal standards or replace the plant altogether.
“So we’ve evaluated what it takes to meet the new rules and we have a cost,” he said. “We’ve also looked at what it would cost to replace that with a different source, maybe close that unit. And our early analysis says the cost of putting controls on at this facility are higher than the cost of another option.”
Lately Cane Run has been under scrutiny as neighbors complain about air pollution stemming from the coal ash stored on the site.
The move still has to be approved by the Public Service Commission, which will need to ensure that the company can generate enough power to meet consumer demand with the new plant.