Louisville Gas and Electric announced today that the company’s coal-fired Cane Run Power Plant will be shut down eight months earlier than planned.
The company announced plans to convert the power plant to natural gas last year, and construction on the new facility is going faster than expected. The coal-fired plant should be shut down by May 2015.
Here’s what LG&E had to say in a news release:
Preliminary work has already started at Cane Run. The transmission lines on the property are being moved, and the communications tower has been relocated to make room for the new natural gas combined-cycle plant.
Bluegrass Power Constructors, who will be building the plant, is expected to begin mobilizing later this year with full construction beginning in the first quarter of 2013. The contract with Bluegrass specifies the May 2015 completion timetable and has penalties should Bluegrass extend beyond this time. At peak of the construction process, 250 construction jobs are expected to be created.
The news will likely be well-received by the power plant’s neighbors, who have registered numerous complaints about coal ash leaving Cane Run and contaminating their homes. LG&E was fined for several violations in April, and there was another incident as recently as last month. When the coal-fired plant closes, the coal ash landfill will remain. But it will be capped and covered, and without daily activity it’s likely most of the air problems in the neighborhood will improve.