Mar 30, 2015
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – After nearly five decades of providing safe, reliable energy to thousands of customers across Kentucky, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company’s Cane Run Unit 6 is being retired tomorrow. The move comes as the company prepares to shut down its coal-fired operations at the site and bring the new Cane Run 7 gas-fired unit on line.
A key component in LG&E and KU’s generation fleet, Cane Run Unit 6 was put into service in 1969 to help meet increasing electricity demand after industries flocked to Louisville during and after World War II, making Louisville the nation’s second-most-industrialized city. Cranking out 272 megawatts of electricity, along with Cane Run’s five other units, Unit 6 brought the plant’s capacity to 25 percent of LG&E’s generation at the time. The unit helped to sustain increasing power needs into the 1970s when the company expanded its operations, as well as into the 1980s as Cane Run Units 1, 2 and 3 began being retired.
Even with the company’s growth, Cane Run 6 dominated the spotlight over the years – garnering the attention of President Jimmy Carter and other dignitaries, in 1979, when they visited to learn about coal-fired generation and see the company’s pioneering sulfur dioxide-removal technology. The Unit proved just as significant as ever this year as it was fired up to help meet critical winter energy demands during frigid conditions in February and March.
“Unit 6 has had a long, distinguished career as a critical component of LG&E and KU’s generation fleet,” said Dave Tummonds, LG&E and KU general manager of Cane Run and Combustion Turbines. “I’m especially proud of how well the unit ended its service by providing reliable power through a period of such high demand.”
The retirement of Cane Run Unit 6, as well as Units 4 and 5 – which are expected to shut down as soon as the new unit is commercially available – come as the result of stricter environmental mandates on coal-fired generation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
As these coal units are shutting down, activity on the company’s new gas-fired facility is heating up. Currently in its final commissioning and testing phases, Cane Run 7, which will be Kentucky’s first natural gas combined cycle facility, is scheduled to become commercially available to serve customers later this spring.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve a total of 1.2 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 321,000 natural gas and 397,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 543,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.