Kentucky power plant to stop burning coal by 2023

Owensboro Municipal Utilities will shut down its coal-fired units at the Elmer Smith Power Plant by 2023

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — An electric utility in Owensboro will stop burning coal at its only power plant, which dates back to the 1960s.

Owensboro Municipal Utilities will shut down its coal-fired units at the Elmer Smith Power Plant by 2023. A spokeswoman for the utility says the decision was made due to the age of the plant, environmental compliance and low natural gas prices.

Spokeswoman Sonya Dixon says the utility's governing commission is "considering a number of options" to supply power to its 26,000 electric customers.

Elmer Smith's Unit 1 was commissioned in 1964, and the second, larger unit was built in the mid-1970s. The facility burns about 1.2 million tons of coal each year.

The Sierra Club tagged the plant as one of the nation's top polluters in a 2007 report.

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