Smokestack

WFPL's Erica Peterson has been reporting on pollution and energy in Louisville since 2011.

These issues are more important than ever as the city, state and region continue to grapple with the ramifications of fossil fuel use, rising temperatures and urban sprawl.

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Environment
4:02 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

State Regulators Approve Contract to Bring Biomass Energy to Eastern Kentucky

Woody biomass
David Wright Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky regulators have approved a contract between an Eastern Kentucky utility and a proposed biomass plant, despite concerns from the state Attorney General and a consumer group. The biomass energy will replace a small part of the capacity from the coal-fired Big Sandy power plant, which is scheduled to be shut down by 2016.

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Environment
4:04 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Does a Biomass Plant Make Sense for Eastern Kentucky Ratepayers?

David Wright Wikimedia Commons

The Public Service Commission is scheduled to decide this week whether it will let Kentucky Power enter into a contract to buy all of the electricity produced by a proposed biomass plant in Eastern Kentucky. But the proposal is meeting opposition from groups who say the company doesn’t actually need the electricity to meet demand and the plan would unnecessarily raise rates.

The PSC is tasked with making decisions on the basis of whether both the proposal and possible rate increases are “fair, just and reasonable.” Utilities have to propose options that are reliable and the least-cost option. More than 90 percent of Kentucky’s electricity still comes from coal—though the share of power from natural gas is slowly growing—partly because for years, that’s been the lowest cost option for utilities.

But a bill passed during last year’s General Assembly directs the commissioners to give additional weight to biomass projects. They still have to determine whether the proposal is “fair, just and reasonable,” but applies a standard to biomass that’s different from the standard that’s applied to other types of energy.

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Environment
4:03 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Kentucky Regulators OK Plan to Use West Virginia Electricity to Replace Big Sandy Plant

By Flickr user CM195902: http://bit.ly/KhOtGU

Kentucky Power will be able to buy a half-interest in a power plant in West Virginia to replace the Big Sandy Power Plant in Lawrence County.

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Environment
4:52 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

University of Kentucky Awarded Federal Grant to Develop Carbon Capture Technology

Erica Peterson WFPL

The University of Kentucky will receive nearly $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to further develop technologies that can reduce the emission of green house gases from coal-fired power plants. 

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Environment
1:09 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

New Indianapolis Science Museum Will Explore the City's Waterways

The canal in Indianapolis.
Credit Creative Commons

An Indianapolis university is moving forward with the creation of an innovative science museum, focused around the city’s waterways. Butler University was awarded a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation for the project.

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Environment
10:00 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Louisville Experiments With Crowdfunding Again for This Year's Cyclouvia

A stop n' chat in the middle of Bardstown Road during last year's Cyclouvia.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Louisville’s Cyclouvia—a version of similar "open streets" events held in cities around the world—returns next month. Bardstown Road will be closed to vehicular traffic for several hours on a Sunday afternoon.

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Environment
3:24 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

U.N. Climate Panel Recommends Global Limit on Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Erica Peterson WFPL

A long-anticipated report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reinforces earlier conclusions that global warming is both real and caused by human activity. In a first, the panel also recommended a ceiling on carbon emissions.

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Environment
12:56 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Louisville Air Pollution District Chief Resigns in Wake of Critical Audits

Courtesy Louisville Metro Goverment

The executive director of Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District has announced that she’ll step down at the end of next month.

Lauren Anderson has been in charge of the district since August 2008. She’s resigning amid several state audits that found serious flaws in the district’s air monitoring program, and calls into question at least a year—and possibly several years—of the city’s particulate and ozone monitoring data.

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Environment
4:52 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Louisville Solar Tour Scheduled for Saturday

Fernando Tomas Wikimedia Commons

Louisville residents will have a chance to tour residential and commercial solar installations this weekend. The Louisville Solar Tour highlights 31 sites around town that are using the sun to meet their energy needs.

The tour stops are all over the city—from St. William Church in California to the Fairdale Branch Library to the far East End. Solar-powered Apocalypse Brew Works is on the tour, as is the Green Building in NuLu. At most of the stops, home and business owners will share information about the solar installations and how much energy they generate.

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Environment
2:38 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Louisville Metro Announces $27 Million Deal for Energy Efficient Upgrades

A new public-private partnership will provide energy efficient upgrades to government buildings across Louisville—at no upfront cost to Louisville Metro Government.

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