Louisville Gas and Electric, Kentucky Utilities plan for $2.2 billion systems upgrades

Published on November 02, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

The Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) Company and Kentucky Utilities (KU) Company recently released plans to invest $2.2 billion into electric and natural gas systems to improve overall safety, reduce outages and wait times, and enhance customer service.

“Safe, reliable energy, provided with high-quality customer service is the backbone of our company, and in order to continue building on the excellent service customers have come to expect, it takes prudent and well-planned investments in our infrastructure,” Victor A. Staffieri, chairman, president and CEO of LG&E and KU, said. “We are always thoughtful before taking any action that could impact customers’ bills, and we believe these improvements are an important step in reducing the amount of time our customers will be impacted by weather-related or other outages.”

The companies are planning to install intelligent control equipment in distribution systems that serve homes and neighborhoods as well as on high-voltage transmission systems that connect to the national grid. The change will improve reliability by allowing for rapid isolation of outages and faster restoration times.

Additionally, the companies are planning a five-year transmission upgrade program  that involves replacing wooden poles, cross arms, insulators, lines and substation controls. Further, the companies said the upgrades will lead to 92 percent less sulfur dioxide, 90 percent less particulate matter and 77 percent less nitrogen oxide being emitted.

LG&E also plans to expand its replacement of aging natural gas steel service lines with new plastic pipeline and replace its aging natural gas transmission lines. The upgrades also include adding more capacity that will increase reliability and promote economic development in the region.