) continues to expand its generation portfolio through adding
traditional properties as well as renewable assets. The company
announced that its subsidiaries Louisville Gas and Electric and
Kentucky Utilities, LLC ("LG&E and KU Energy, LLC") have
filed for certificates of public convenience and necessity with
the Kentucky Public Service Commission to build two projects. The
current development plan was initially announced in October last
AES CORP (AES): Free Stock Analysis Report
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The first of these generation projects involves the construction
of a natural gas combined-cycle generating unit ("NGCC"), with a
capacity of 700 megawatts ("MW"). PPL Corp. plans to invest about
$700 million to develop this NGCC unit, at its existing facility
in Green River site in Muhlenberg County, KY. The new facility is
expected to be online in 2018. This project is anticipated to
generate approximately 40 permanent full-time jobs and several
hundred construction jobs in western Kentucky.
For the second project, PPL Corp. plans to invest roughly $36
million at its Brown generating station to build an approximately
10-MW solar facility. The company expects this facility to start
operations from 2016.
The current projects, if approved, will make up for the shortfall
in generation from the idled plants.
We know that the U.S. government continues to roll out new
mandates to control carbon emissions from power generation. In
Sep 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA")
proposed the Clean Air Act standards to curb carbon pollution
from new power plants. The EPA plans to implement this new
standard to back President Obama's Climate Action Plan, announced
in Jun 2013.
To meet government regulations, PPL Corp. continues to revamp its
existing infrastructure and expand its renewable asset base. The
company is currently withdrawing 800 MW of older coal-fired
generation assets at Cane Run, Green River and Tyrone stations
and is constructing a 640-MW NGCC unit at the Cane Run Generating
Station in western Louisville.
In fact, investment in renewable assets is common for PPL Corp.
The company has invested $245 million to replace an old
powerhouse at the Ranibow Dam hydroelectric facility.
PPL Corp. currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, some
better-ranked stocks in the same sector include
Wisconsin Energy Corp.
The AES Corp.
). While Wisconsin Energy holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), The
AES Corp. and ALLETE carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).