E.ON U.S., an energy services company that owns and operates Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, announced that E.ON, its parent company, and PPL Corporation have entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of E.ON U.S. to PPL for $7.625 billion.
PPL Corporation, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., owns or controls nearly 12,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets and delivers electricity to about four million customers in Pennsylvania and the United Kingdom.
As part of the sale, PPL pledged to:
- LG&E and KU Will Maintain Existing Headquarters and Names: The corporate headquarters will remain in Louisville. LG&E and KU will also maintain their headquarters in Louisville and Lexington, respectively, and will continue to operate under their current names.
- Management Team Remains in Place and in Kentucky: Local leadership of E.ON U.S. will remain intact, continuing their current duties and responsibilities — in Kentucky — running the day-to-day operations of LG&E and KU.
- No Downsizing as a Result of this Transaction: PPL commits that no planned work force reductions will be made as a result of this transaction. All union contracts remain in place, and LG&E and KU will maintain their same position of neutrality on future organizing activities in our area.
- Power from LG&E and KU Dedicated to Existing Customers: Consistent with current operations, power produced by LG&E and KU will be dedicated to their existing and future native load customers.
- Same Economic Development Criteria: PPL has committed to helping further LG&E’s and KU’s existing efforts to help bring new jobs to Kentucky. They will continue to work with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the various agencies to proactively pursue economic development opportunities.
- Support for Low-Income Customers to Continue: LG&E and KU will continue to provide at least the same level of assistance for low-income customers that they do today.
- Local Communities Can Continue to Count on LG&E and KU: PPL has an established record as a leader in community giving. LG&E and KU will maintain at least the same level of charitable giving as they do today.
- Clean Coal and Alternative Energy Investments to be Pursued: Approximately 50 percent of PPL’s portfolio consists of coal-fired plants, and PPL has made significant investments to upgrade its plants with state-of-the-art emission control technology.
Sounds like PPL is saying all the right things to move into Kentucky where coal, water, and transportation are cheaper than many other areas of the country. Clean coal, however, is simply a fantasy wish that is decades away, if it is achieved at all. It does not mean coal is going away any time soon, but don’t bet on “clean coal” technology in your life time. It is simply a buzz term put out by lobbyists and advertiser executives to sell stock in coal and coal fired utility plants.