East Kentucky Power Cooperative has received approval from the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) for a $15m environmental project to continue operations at its JS Cooper Generating Station in the US.
The approval will allow the continued operation of a coal - burning unit at the East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) JS Cooper Generating Station near Burnside.
Under the project, ductwork that will pass on emissions from the 116Mw Cooper Unit 1 to the existing emission control equipment will be added to handle emissions from the 225MW Cooper Unit 2.
The equipment is capable of handling emissions from both units.
PSC claims that the inclusion of the ductwork will bring Cooper Unit 1 into compliance with stringent federal air quality standards that further restrict emissions from coal-burning power plants.
Furthermore, the commission also approved EKPC plans to recover the cost of the project through its environmental surcharge.
Customers of the 16 electric distribution co-operatives who buy power from and own EKPC will share the cost.
In its order, the commission noted that the cost of the project was the least among the alternatives studied by EKPC. In addition to this, the commission also found that retaining Cooper Unit 1 in operation will allow EKPC to maintain adequate generating capacity at the lowest possible cost and at relatively little financial risk.
The commission said in a statement "The analysis did not look farther ahead to consider potential future environmental compliance requirements."
PSC expects the utility to continue to expand and develop its portfolio of programmes, while EKPC is planning to continue to pursue energy efficiency programmes in tandem with the improvements at the coal-fired power station.