LG&E and KU add Kentucky’s first utility wind turbine to research, development portfolio

Published on April 12, 2024 by Chris Galford

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As a way to research the potential wind energy could provide in Kentucky, PPL Corporation recently installed the state’s first utility wind turbine.

PPL is the parent company of the Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, and based its new, 165-foot project at the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County. There, it will collect data as part of the company’s Renewable Integration Research Facility, and consequently join more than 150 other active research projects underway.

“Research and development are key to reducing carbon emissions in the years to come, and studying wind energy is a natural progression in our all-of-the-above research strategy,” LG&E and KU President John Crockett III said. “We are evaluating a number of energy resources to help us understand integration of a variety of generation sources while maintaining affordability and reliability for our customers. While this wind turbine is not expected to produce a large amount of energy, it will provide insight and data that will help us analyze our options for the future.”

As Crockett alluded, the site is not expected to generate much power outright – about 193 MW hours per year, meaning if used for actual generation, it could only power about 16 average Kentucky homes for that full year. Data collected from it will be much more valuable, though, and will benefit not only PPL and its subsidiaries but also the University of Kentucky, National Laboratories, EPRI, and the public.