East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) said Dec. 30 that it made the final purchase of a natural gas-fueled power plant in LaGrange, Ky., from Bluegrass Generation Co. LLC.
The power plant, located about 20 miles east of Louisville in Oldham County, features three simple-cycle natural gas units with a total net rated winter capacity of 594 MW.
“This transaction was the result of a year and a half of work by EKPC’s staff to determine the best option for meeting the needs of our owner-member cooperatives as safely, affordably and reliably as we can, and to evaluate the benefits and risks of this purchase,” said Anthony “Tony” Campbell, EKPC’s president and CEO.
The addition of these units will help EKPC reduce power purchases during periods of heavy demand, reduce the risks of market volatility, diversify its generating portfolio and replace generation lost due to the partial retirement of EKPC’s coal-fired Dale Station in April of this year due to federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards compliance needs.
In approving the purchase, the Kentucky Public Service Commission on Dec. 1 agreed the plant represents the most reasonable, least-cost resource available to meet the needs of EKPC’s 16 owner-member electric cooperatives. The Oldham County plant was built in 2002. Under an existing agreement, which continues until April 2019, Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas & Electric receive the output of one unit.
The 200-MW Dale Station is being partially retired in April 2016 and two of its four units are being placed in indefinite storage due to the cost to comply with new, more-stringent federal regulations.