This Inside Climate News article discusses how a Kentucky power plant’s demise signals a serious problem for coal. The implosion of the coal-fired Cane Run Generating Station came as the generating capacity of the renewable energy sector surpassed coal across the country.
When the six smokestacks of the Cane Run Generating Station came tumbling down in a cloud of dust last weekend as part of a controlled implosion by its utility owner, nearby resident Kathy Little was flooded with emotion.
“I was in tears,” said Little, a grandmother, who with her neighbors joined a Sierra Club campaign called Beyond Coal that successfully pressured the plant to curb toxic ash from blowing into their community. “It was so symbolic to me because of all the work we have done.”
The 1,000-megawatt coal plant on the banks of the Ohio River hadn’t produced toxic ash—or electricity—since it was retired by its owner, LG&E, in 2015. But its demise, which took less than a minute, symbolized the broader decline of coal in both generating capacity and the production of electricity.