PPL Corp. subsidiaries Louisville Gas and Electric Co. and Kentucky Utilities Co. are planning to replace 1,500 MW of aging coal-fired generation that is expected to be retired by 2028. The plan includes adding two new combined-cycle natural gas plants, nearly 1,000 MW of solar generation, 125 MW of battery storage and more than a dozen new energy efficiency programs.
In conjunction with the announcement, LG&E and KU is seeking approval from the Kentucky Public Service Commission (KPSC) for the replacement generation and new energy efficiency programs. LG&E and KU’s proposal focuses on meeting customers’ energy needs in the most reliable, least-cost fashion.
“This is about delivering on our mission to provide safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy to our customers,” says Vincent Sorgi, PPL’s president and CEO. “The plan we filed today is a balanced approach that will help ensure our ability to reliably serve our customers’ energy needs 24/7, while at the same time further diversifying our generation portfolio.”
The proposed replacement strategy, if approved by the KPSC, represents $2.1 billion of total capital investment in Kentucky. This includes building two 621 MW natural gas combined-cycle units, building a 120 MW solar array, acquiring another 120 MW array to be developed by a third-party and constructing 125 MW of battery storage. The LG&E and KU plan also includes securing power purchase agreements for more than 600 MW of additional solar generation and adding 14 new energy efficiency offerings to help reduce electricity demand in the state. The proposed energy efficiency program, developed in collaboration with community partners, would reduce LG&E and KU’s overall need for future generation by nearly 200 MW.
Sorgi said the plan is consistent with PPL’s goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The replacement strategy, if approved, would reduce the carbon intensity of LG&E and KU’s generation fleet and result in nearly a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions from existing levels.
LG&E and KU have requested approval from the KPSC by Oct. 1, 2023.