PPL confident in business outlook despite Kentucky fossil fuel retirement law

Published on March 28, 2023 by Liz Carey

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Despite a new law passing in Kentucky that requires the retirement of fossil-fuel-fired electric generation units, Allentown, Pa.-based PPL Corporation said Friday it was confident in its overall business outlook.

The new law, Kentucky Senate Bill 4, would require PPL subsidiaries Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities Company (KU) to file a request for approval to retire fossil-fuel-fired electric generating units with the Kentucky Public Service Commission (KPSC) within 30 days’ notice and for KPSC to issue a decision on the filing within 180 days of the filing. PPL said it does not expect the new law to affect the timing of a KPSC decision on LG&E and KU’s December replacement filings. The company expects to hear about those filings in November of 2023.

“We followed a well-defined and rigorous process to ensure delivery of safe, reliable, and affordable energy for our customers,” PPL President and CEO Vince Sorgi said. “We’re confident that our plan exceeds the standards set out by this new law and is the best path forward for our customers. We look forward to continuing to engage with stakeholders in Kentucky and completing the process before the KPSC to demonstrate why that is.”

PPL presented KPSC with filings in December to request the approval of two new combined-cycle natural gas plants, nearly 1,000 megawatts of solar generation, 125 megawatts of battery storage, and more than a dozen new energy efficiency programs. The programs would be implemented by 2028 as part of PPL’s generation replacement strategy, the company said, and is the least-cost option for the company to continue to serve LG&E and KU customers’ energy needs responsibly, reliably, and affordably.

The new law is not expected to materially impact PPL’s business outlook, the company said. PPL continues to forecast between $1.50 and $1.65 per share and projected annual earnings per share will grow between 6 percent and 8 percent through 2026.