E. Ky. Power fires up new generator

Herald-Leader Staff Report

East Kentucky Power Cooperative fired up its new unit No. 4 at the H.L. Spurlock Station near Maysville on Wednesday.

A day earlier, the state Public Service Commission approved a 7 percent rate increase for East Kentucky Power to offset the costs of building and operating the new unit. A typical residential customer's bill will rise between $5.60 and $6.75 on average, according to figures from the utility and the PSC.

The new coal-fired addition can generate enough electricity for 140,000 of the homes served by the 16 not-for-profit cooperatives to which East Kentucky Power provides electricity.

The $528 million unit is also expected to produce less air pollution. It can burn other fuels besides coal and a four-year pilot program involving switchgrass is beginning in partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and local farmers.

East Kentucky Power plans to build a similar unit at the J.K. Smith Station in Clark County if regulators approve the project.