US clean coal project kicks off

NEARLY $940 million in environmental upgrades are about to begin at the Mill Creek Generating Station in northern Kentucky.

Noel Dyson

The Kentucky Public Service Commission requires state utilities such as Mill Creek owner Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities to produce energy at the lowest cost for customers.

Coal has traditionally been the lowest cost method to generate electricity but that is changing due to stricter Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Mill Creek, along with the Ghent, Brown 3 and Trimble County 1 generating stations, will be upgraded with modern technology.

This will allow LG&E and KU to keep using Illinois Basin coal to provide low-cost, reliable electricity to Kentucky customers.

The equipment, which includes scrubbers on all four units at Mill Creek, will further increase the station’s ability to control sulphur-dioxide emissions from the present 90% to a more than 98% removal rate.

Also, fabric filter baghouse technologies will be installed on all four units to remove mercury and fine particulates.

The upgrades are expected to be completed by 2016.

Kentucky Mayor Greg Fischer said this was a large leap forward for LG&E and Kentucky because it would improve the air while using the latest technology and creating 700 jobs in the process.

State representatives also welcomed the move.

“Coal has and will continue to be a major contributor to the economic vitality of Kentucky, and with even more stringent environmental regulations, it’s great to see companies such as LG&E and KU demonstrating their commitment to the long-term use of this natural resource,” Gooch said.