LG&E, KU Asking PSC for Muhlenberg Co. Plant Delay

Utility officials are asking for a 90 day delay on any decision regarding a planned natural gas plant in the county.

A $700 million project in Muhlenberg County faces an uncertain future.  Kentucky Utility officials are asking the PSC for a 90-day delay on the planned natural gas facility near Bremen.  Utility officials say they need more time to study impacts from nine municipalities, including Madisonville, who recently notified the utility of ending their contracts.

"I'm concerned about the fact that we might not see that materialize," says 
Greenville City Adminstrator Ben Van Hooser.

Some don't like to wait 90 seconds, much less 90 days.  But that's how long KU and LG&E are asking the public service commission to hold any decision on the planned natural gas plant in Muhlenberg County.

"Any delay would move the goal posts on when it might begin," Van Hooser says.

The reason: they need time to study the fallout from nine cities ending their electric contracts in five years and the affect that may have on future generation needs.  Van Hooser worries the delay could cost Muhlenberg County dozens of lost plant jobs and hundreds more construction jobs.

"It would have a negative impact on the economy, simply because we'll have somewhere between 40 to 60 long term jobs that won't be ongoing," he adds.

In a statement, utility officials say the delay would put them in a better place to make a better decision on generation investments.  Van Hooser says he understands why they want the delay, but doesn't want to wait too long for those jobs.

"Even the 90 days that have been asked might have to be extended beyond that if there is no resolution between the municipals and the contract that they have with LG&E and KU," he says.


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