The Kentucky Public Service Commission will conduct a review of the way Louisville Gas and Electric and other utility companies handled recovery of the largest power outage in state history.
Statewide, more than half a million people were left without electricity following the September 14 windstorm. PSC spokesperson Andrew Melnykovych says it’s basic procedure to investigate such a unique event.
“Clearly it’s an event that has never occurred before, at least not in anybody’s lifetime and it one of those occurrences you need to try to learn from, because obviously there are lessons in it,” says Melnykovych.
He says PSC commissioners will send a series of questions to each of the utilities, including LG&E and Kentucky Utilities, both of which are owned by E.ON U.S. He says they’ll also seek input from local governments.
The massive power outage caused by this month’s windstorm will cost LG&E more than 15-million dollars – and part of that cost will be passed on to customers. Melnykovych says it isn’t clear yet if the company will ask to include the storm costs in its current rate increase proposal or in a separate request.
“It’s too soon to say how much of it will be borne by rate-payers,” says Melnykovych, “but I can say that any cost recovery they seek from rate-payers will be carefully examined by the commission. It’s a process that’s multi-step and requires several layers of review.”
LG&E officials say it will likely be two months before the final costs are known.
The PSC will also conduct a review of how the state’s utilities handled the crisis in the coming weeks.