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KY power cooperative weighing $15 million upgrade

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SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) — A south-central Kentucky power plant could undergo a $15 million upgrade aimed at meeting federal air regulations and keeping its generating capacity viable under a plan being weighed by its owner.

East Kentucky Power Cooperative is looking at the possibility of doing the work on the John Sherman Cooper Power Station at Burnside.

EKPC CEO Tony Campbell told The Commonwealth-Journal the proposal is "a very reasonable investment" in the future of the plant, which helps serve 520,000 customers of the cooperative across 87 counties.

Cooper Station has two coal-fired generating units. Unit No. 2, on line in October 1969, produces 225 megawatts of electricity. The plant's first generating unit, on line in February 1965, produces 116 megawatts of electricity.

Nick Comer, spokesman for EKPC, said a circulating dry scrubber was added to Unit No. 2 last year at a cost of about $225 million. The construction project included a 56-acre expansion of the plant's special waste landfill. The on-site landfill is used for dry disposal of coal ash and other coal combustion byproducts.

"This proposal for Unit No. 1 is simply ductwork, a large pipe if you will, to take flue gases from Unit 1 to Unit 2. Emissions from Unit 1 will be cleaned by the new scrubber on Unit 2," Comer said. Comer said EKPC hopes to have the ductwork operational by 2015.

Cooper's No. 1 represents a substantial investment, including the generating unit, as well as transmission and fuel-handling facilities. The plant is fueled primarily by coal.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press