America’s Power Statement on Kentucky Public Service Commission’s Decision to Approve the Closure of Coal Power Plants

Washington, D.C. – The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has issued a decision regarding the retirement of power plants in the Commonwealth.  Among other things, the commission conditionally approved the closure of two coal units, Mill Creek 1 and 2.  America’s Power issued the following statement by President and CEO Michelle Bloodworth on the PSC decision:

“We are disappointed the PSC has ignored the intent of legislation meant to maintain electric reliability and provide energy security for the citizens of Kentucky.  Instead, the commission approved the closure of two large coal units that provided much needed electricity during Winter Storm Elliott.  Elliott is the most recent example of why dispatchable generation with on-site fuel, especially coal, is essential to maintain the reliability of the electric power grid, especially during extreme weather.  While natural-gas-fueled power plants in neighboring states failed due to gas supply disruptions, the two coal units that are targeted to close operated at or near their maximum output for the entirety of the storm to keep Kentucky homes and businesses warm.

“Approving these two closures is also at odds with warnings from federal officials and grid operators that parts of the U.S. are on the verge of an electric reliability crisis that would cause blackouts and brownouts.  The main reason for these warnings is the retirement of coal plants which are being replaced by less reliable electricity sources.  The commission’s decision is also inconsistent with public opinion.  Recent polling shows that almost two-thirds of Kentuckians believe that the Commonwealth is abandoning fuel-secure resources like coal too quickly for the electric grid to handle it.  It would be in the best interests of Kentucky for the commission to revisit its unfortunate decision to allow the closure of these two coal units.”


America’s Power is a partnership of industries

involved in producing electricity from coal.