(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Today marked the end to a historic chapter for Louisville Gas and Electric Company when the company brought down the last standing portions — the boiler house and stacks — of the now retired coal-fired Cane Run Generating Station, located in the southwest corner of Jefferson County.
The plant generated its last megawatt of power on June 16, 2015, after a 61-year run. For decades, the plant was a steadfast, reliable cornerstone in the Louisville community and generated much needed power that helped spur economic growth and development for the region.
“It’s bittersweet for our company, employees and retirees who worked at Cane Run to see the last remaining portions of the facility come down today,” said Paul W. Thompson, LG&E and KU Chairman, CEO and President. “Our company and our employees, who expertly manned the plant during its lifespan, celebrated many accomplishments as a result of its operations.”
The controlled demolition process took months of preparation and advance planning. Personnel and a specialized nationally-renowned demolition contractor removed most of the outlying structures, as well as internal mechanical and electrical equipment over the last few months in preparation for the falling of the structures that took place today. All structures and equipment were first processed on site, and then transported off site for recycling.
Other preparations included monitoring weather conditions and day-of wind direction; obtaining necessary permits for this type of work; installing silt fencing to contain ground-level debris; and using industrial-sized dust-suppression and misting equipment to help control debris as the structures came down.
A series of pre-calculated detonations were designed to weaken the structure’s supports, causing the boiler house to collapse inwardly upon itself. For safety purposes, the plant property and immediate surrounding areas were closed today and accessible to only authorized individuals.
“As we prepared for this day, our number one goal and focus has been ensuring Cane Run came down in a safe, controlled and environmentally-sound process,” Thompson said.
About Cane Run
Construction of Cane Run began in the 1950s to meet Louisville's booming power demands. At the peak of operations, the state-of-the-art facility generated about 1,000 megawatts and employed nearly 500 people.
Cane Run was best known for installing some of the nation's first sulfur-dioxide removal systems, also known as scrubbers, which gained attention and a site visit from President Jimmy Carter at the time.
Today, sharing property space, stands the company’s 640-megawatt natural gas-fired combined-cycle unit known as Cane Run 7, which began operating in 2015. It’s now a primary generating unit within LG&E and Kentucky Utilities Company’s generating fleet.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve nearly 1.3 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 328,000 natural gas and 414,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 555,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.