- Kentucky is unlikely to need to close more than the almost 3,000 megawatts of coal generation already scheduled for elimination as it prepares to meet newly proposed EPA emissions reduction regulations, according to Division of Air Quality Director Sean Alteri and Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy John Lyons.
- Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E), Kentucky Utilities (KU) and Kentucky Power have disclosed plans in the last year to shutter coal plant capacity by 2016 or 2017 and the Tennessee Valley Authority will convert two units of its 2,201 megawatt Paradise plant in Muhlenberg County to natural gas, though it will continue to use coal in a third, 1,100 megawatt, unit.
- Kentucky’s shift in generation will cut coal's share of the state’s electricity production from 92% to 78% in 2020.
The EPA proposal would targets a nationwide 30% cut in CO2 emissions below 2005 levels by 2030.
Aside from 800 megawatts of coal capacity announced for shuttering, most of PPL subsidiaries LG&E and KU's existing plants will meet new EPA standards, according to the utilities. AEP subsidiary Kentucky Power will close the 800 megawatt Big Sandy unit 2 and Kentucky’s PSC will finalize its decision this month on the utility's request to convert the 278 megawatt Big Sandy unit 1 to natural gas.
Most of the planned coal elimination is to comply with EPA pollution regulations like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule, not the newly proposed emissions rule. Kentucky officials expressed concern that utilities’ moves to low priced natural gas generation could be a problem if the state’s power mix becomes too dependent on gas and the historically volatile price spikes, and noted that some plants may have to convert back to coal.