The Pennsylvania-based PPL Corp. officially took control of the Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities yesterday, after acquiring the two utility companies from E.ON U.S. for $7.6 billion. The deal won’t have any immediate impact on local customers and no employee cuts will be made.
After months of deliberation, the sale was approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission in September after certain pledges by PPL representatives were made, including a promise that customers wouldn’t face an increase in the base rate if their monthly bill for at least three years and that contributions to local charities would be maintained.
The deal also binds PPL to keep the two utility companies at their current headquarters in Louisville and Lexington while providing a level of aid to low-income customers for another 15 years.
For environmentalists and concerned residents, however, the companies gestures and overtures take place amidst a continuing fight with LG&E over a $54 million, 60 acre and 14-story ash pond expansion in the already chemically afflicted Rubbertown neighborhood.
In September, LEO Weekly uncovered that LG&E’s new owner had previously faced legal action for such a facility. In 2005, PPL was sued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection after a coal ash pond in Martins Creek, Pa., ruptured and spilled over 100 million gallons of contaminated water and fly ash into the Delaware River.