Kentucky Utilities readies shutdown of last Green River units later this year

Kentucky Utilities is readying for the shutdown this fall of its coal-fired Green River Station for clean-air purposes, this PPL Corp. (NYSE: PPL) subsidiary noted in an Aug. 28 fuel report filed at the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

The PSC is in the opening stages of its twice-yearly review of the fuel buying of both Kentucky Utilities and fellow PPL subsidiary Louisville Gas and Electric. The two utilities co-own a number of plants and do coordinated fuel procurement. The fuel report covers a review period of November 2014-April 2015.

The November 2014-April 2015 coal figures by plant are:

  • E. W. Brown, 573,468 tons burned, 473,537 tons received, 1,149,456 net MWH generated, 38.4% capacity factor;
  • Ghent 2, 826,394 tons burned, 2,912,902 tons received, 5,885,439 net MWH generated, 70.2% capacity factor,
  • Green River, 261,033 tons burned, 252,317 tons received, 516,689 net MWH generated, 70.4% capacity factor;
  • Trimble County HS (High Sulfur), N/A 1,602,987 tons received, N/A, N/A;
  • Trimble County PRB (Powder River Basin), N/A, 302,913 tons received, N/A, N/A; and
  • Trimble County 2, 1,105,361 tons burned, N/A, 2,556,845 net MWH generated, 77.4% capacity factor.

The Trimble County values reflect 100% of the unit. Trimble County 2 is owned by KU (60.75%), Louisville Gas and Electric (14.25%), Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA) (12.88%), and Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA) (12.12%).

As of April 30, the end of the review period, coal inventories were:

  • EW Brown, 189,288 tons; 30 days of supply, target is 30-55 days
  • Ghent, 793,455 tons; 38 days of supply, target is 20-39 days
  • Green River, 75,443 tons; 36 days of supply, target is 24-69 days
  • Trimble County, 236,663 tons; 32 days of supply, target is 21-44 days
  • Total, 1,294,849 tons; 37 days on average of supply, target is 23-46 days

Trimble County coal inventory includes both PRB and High Sulfur coals used for Trimble County Unit 2. Trimble County Unit 1 is 514 MW net of capacity, and Unit 2 is 760 MW net.

With the exception of Green River Station, KU said it does not expect significant changes in its current coal inventory target levels. The Green River Station is scheduled to shut down during the fall of 2015. Once commercial operation ceases at Green River, any remaining coal inventory will be eliminated.

Green River Units 1 and 2 were retired in 2002. The remaining units, Units 3 and 4, are the ones that are now to be retired and they have a total capacity of 163 MW.

Major coal suppliers during the review period included Alliance Coal, Arch Coal Sales, Armstrong Coal, Foresight Coal Sales and Patriot Coal.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.