PSC Will Hold Formal Hearing Tuesday on LG&E Gas Conversion Plan

by Erica Peterson on March 19, 2012

The Public Service Commission will hear testimony for and against a proposed project at Louisville Gas and Electric’s Cane Run power plant tomorrow.

The utility company is asking for permission to retire several coal-fired power plants, including the Cane Run Power Station in southwest Louisville. It plans to replace the generation capacity with both new turbines—at Cane Run—and existing natural gas generation in Oldham County. The project is expected to cost about $700 million.

LG&E’s application argues this is the most cost-effective approach, because upcoming pollution regulations would require new environmental controls to keep burning coal.

At a public hearing earlier this month, there was no public outcry over the project. Many living near the plant have complained about pollution from the company’s coal ash landfills in the past, and they want the company to stop burning coal as soon as possible.

But attorneys from the Sierra Club do plan to challenge LG&E at this week’s hearing. They say the company has ignored the potential for renewable energy in its system, and that energy efficiency programs could also eliminate some of the need.

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