LGE/KU seeking 300-900 MW of electricity to replace retiring coal-fired units

Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities have pulled a request for proposal seeking up to 900 MW in generation capacity to replace output from two power plant units being retired.

LGE/KU are planning to meet a potential energy shortfall created if the expected retirements of Mill Creek Units 1 and 2 and E.W. Brown Unit 3 happen 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. The utilities are seeking from 300 to 900 MW beginning in 2025 to 2028.

See our stories on the future of coal-fired generation

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.”

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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. 
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 MW of capacity and is expected to be retired in 2024.

Both Mill Creek Unit 2, a 297-MW unit built in 1974, and Brown Unit 3, a 412-megwatt unit built in 1971, are expected to be retired by 2028.

Together, LGE and KU provide electricity to close to one million customers in Kentucky and parts of Virginia. They are affiliates owned by PPL.

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