energy

City of Henderson Reviewing Plans For Solar Project

Nov 2, 2019
Duke Energy

After retiring the city-owned coal-fired power plant earlier this year, Henderson, Kentucky, is reviewing more than two dozen proposals to energize the city with solar power.

Henderson’s coal-fired power plant belonged to a vintage of older, smaller plants that went online in the 1970s. Historically it provided some of the cheapest electricity in the state, but market forces and maintenance costs eventually made plant operation unprofitable.

“Keeping the coal plant open as a coal plant was not in the financial interest of our customers,” said Henderson Municipal Power and Light General Manager Chris Heimgartner.

 


Ryan Van Velzer

Kentucky utility regulators have opened a review into the financial assistance programs that help low-income families pay their gas, water and electric bills.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission is concerned some programs are inconsistently distributing funding meant to help impoverished families.

Utilities offer home energy assistance to help make sure low-income families can keep their heat on in the winter and A/C on in the summer.

Among early findings, the commission discovered varying customer requirements and eligibility as well as inconsistent oversight, administrative costs and financial accountability, according to a news release.

 


Ryan Van Velzer

When the state of Kentucky pays to conserve natural areas, it tries to protect that land forever.

Now for first time in nearly 30 years, the power of those protections could be tested in the fight over the future of Bernheim Forest’s Cedar Grove wildlife corridor, according to state environmental advocates.

 


Ryan Van Velzer

Coal lobbyists have enlisted the help of Kentucky state utility regulators in asking federal officials to weigh in on a Trump administration plan to bail out coal-fired power plants.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission has joined five other states in writing letters to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as part of a campaign orchestrated by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. The letters were first reported by Bloomberg.


Former Blackjewel Miners End Railroad Blockade In Kentucky

Sep 26, 2019
Sydney Boles | Ohio Valley ReSource

The nearly two-month blockade of a Kentucky railroad track is coming to an end as unpaid coal miners end their protest in order to take new jobs, start classes, or move away from their coal-dependent communities. 

When coal company Blackjewel abruptly declared bankruptcy in July, it left some 1100 Appalachian coal miners in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia without pay. On July 29, five miners blockaded a train full of coal preparing to leave a Blackjewel facility in Harlan County, Kentucky. The miners’ rallying cry was “No Pay, No Coal.” 

But after 59 days on the tracks, the protest is coming to an end.


Gray Watson/Creative Commons

Beth Nahinsky wants to reduce her reliance on fossil fuels. That’s why she was planning to buy solar panels for her home in the Tyler Park neighborhood in Louisville.

Then a tree fell on her house and the money Nahinsky saved instead went to repairing the roof. Now, she doesn’t think she can afford the solar panels.

And the timing is unfortunate. Starting next year, it will be more expensive for Kentuckians to install solar panels on their homes.

WFPL News

Louisville Gas & Electric plans to begin suing landowners who refuse to sell their property for the construction of an underground natural gas pipeline through northern Bullitt County.

The utility will begin filing condemnation proceedings in an effort to purchase the remaining 15 percent of land needed to begin construction, according to a Wednesday press release.

LG&E says it’s run out of capacity on the current gas pipeline and needs to build a second 12-mile-long pipeline in order to keep up with growth in the area around Mt. Washington, Shepherdsville, Clermont and Lebanon Junction.

Rates For LG&E/KU Customers Are Going Up This Week

Apr 30, 2019
Erica Peterson

Electric and gas rates for about 1.3 million Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities customers will increase on Wednesday.

Kentucky’s public utility regulators approved the new rates for system-wide improvements. However, customers will also see increases on their bills due to changes in service charges and the expiration of a credit from the Trump Administration’s corporate tax cut last year.

TVA Votes to Close Coal-Fired Power Plant in Kentucky

Feb 14, 2019
Becca Schimmel

A federal utility board voted Thursday to close a coal-fired power plant in Kentucky, despite objections from President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a move the board says will save its more than 10 million customers $320 million.

The Tennessee Valley Authority voted to retire the remaining coal-fired unit at the Paradise Fossil Plant along the Green River in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. The decision could put 131 people out of work and could affect an additional 135 people who work in nearby coal mines that supply the plant.

Becca Schimmel, Ohio Valley Resource

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin says closing the last coal-fired unit at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Muhlenberg County would be a "huge mistake."  Bevin outlined his concerns this month in a letter to the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The TVA is considering closing the last remaining coal-powered unit after an environmental assessment projected it to have high future maintenance and environmental compliance costs.

The Paradise power plant in Drakesboro has been in operation since 1970.  Units 1 and 2 were replaced with natural gas generation in 2017.

Brittany Patterson | Ohio Valley ReSource

Jennie and Brian Kahly decided to move to a 150-acre family farm in West Virginia’s Preston County, they thought a lot about what type of farmers they wanted to be.

“We went ahead and made a list of values, and one of those values was to minimize our fossil fuel use,” Jennie said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t use fossil fuels. It means we make a conscious effort to minimize them.”

Installing solar panels was high on their wish list. After two years of planning, this fall Possum Tail Farm began running on sunshine.

The Trump's administration's proposal to relax regulations on carbon emissions is welcome news in coal producing states like Wyoming, even as people in the industry acknowledge its impact would be limited.

Erica Peterson

Coal-fired power plants in Kentucky continue closing even as the Trump Administration works through details on how to bail out the industry.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Monday he wasn’t ready to provide details of the plan, but even if it was implemented tomorrow, that wouldn’t stop Owensboro, Kentucky from shutting down its coal-fired power plant in 2020.

The city of Owensboro has generated much of its own electricity for more than 100 years, but that will change when the city closes Elmer Smith Station — a coal-fired power plant operating since 1964.

The Trump Administration today moved to weaken fuel economy standards for automobiles, saying the current ones are inappropriate and wrong.

The long-anticipated move is a win for auto manufacturers, which had lobbied for lower fuel-economy standards. It's also a rejection of one of former President Barack Obama's biggest efforts to combat climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Gray Watson/Creative Commons

Kentucky solar advocates want state regulators to consider the benefits of residential solar, but they say that won’t happen under the latest version of a net metering bill under consideration in the state General Assembly.

Last week, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a revised version of House Bill 227, which would allow state regulators to set the rates for the solar power that customers feed back into the electricity grid.

Pages