Utilities’ aging coal-fired generating units nearing end of economic life
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company issued a request for proposal today for generation capacity to meet a potential energy shortfall being created by the expected retirements of Mill Creek Units 1 and 2 and E.W. Brown Unit 3 later this decade.
The coal-fired Mill Creek Units 1 and 2 and E.W. Brown Unit 3 are reaching the end of their economic lives and the utilities are starting the process to evaluate all available generation options in order to implement the best generation plan for the future. The utilities are seeking from 300 to 900 megawatts beginning in 2025 to 2028. Proposals must be for at least 100 megawatts and must be delivered to the utilities’ transmission system. Additionally, the utilities are asking for proposals for at least 100 megawatts of battery storage on their system.
“These units have enabled us to deliver safe, reliable power to our customers for decades, but they are nearing the end of their life cycles. Keeping them operating would require costly investments, and given their age, it would not be in the best interest of our customers to further invest in these units,” said David Sinclair, LG&E and KU’s vice president of Energy Supply and Analysis. “The request for proposal will allow us the opportunity to evaluate a number of options to ensure that we continue to serve our customers energy needs in the most reliable, least-cost fashion without committing LG&E and KU to any particular business decision.”
At the time of their anticipated retirements, the Mill Creek units will be more than 50 years old and Brown Unit 3 will be nearly 60 years old. Mill Creek Unit 1, built in 1972, has 300 megawatts of capacity and is expected to be retired in 2024. Both Mill Creek Unit 2, a 297-megawatt unit built in 1974, and Brown Unit 3, a 412-megwatt unit built in 1971, are expected to be retired by 2028.
As part of the long-term planning process, the utilities evaluate a range of factors including the impact of potential stricter environmental regulations, fuel price scenarios, the cost of replacement generation, continued operations and major maintenance costs and the risk of major equipment failures in determining when to retire generation.
Since there are several years before the units may be taken out of service, any workforce reductions are expected to occur as part of normal retirements, attrition and transfer opportunities.
Visit lge-ku.com/rfp to access the request. All proposals are due by March 31. The utilities anticipate making a decision by the middle of the year and possibly seeking applicable regulatory approvals starting in early 2022.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve more than 1.3 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 329,000 natural gas and 418,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 558,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.