LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Change is underway at the Cane Run power plant.

A natural gas facility that has been in the works for more than two years is now a reality.

LG&E and Kentucky Utilities' new natural gas combined-cycle generating unit is being called Cane Run Unit 7.

It's producing 640 megawatts of electricity. 

“It's the first time it has been deployed in the state of Kentucky,” said John Voyles, the Vice President of Transmission and Generations Services for LG&E and KU Energy.

It's part of the company's move to shut down coal-fired operations at the plant.

The company announced the retirement plan in 2011 as a result of stricter mandates from the EPA.

“As technology has improved over the years and construction techniques have improved over the years and environmental rules have tightened up, this became the least-cost, most-economic and most-environmental decision to make,” Voyles said.

A ribbon cutting was held Monday morning to discuss Cane Run Unit 7.

It is expected to lead to cleaner air for the community.

“First of all, you have gas being burned instead of coal, and so right from the start it's a clean burning fuel,” said Mark Payne, the Operations and Maintenance Manager.

“At this plant alone, the particulate emissions are gonna go down at least 50 percent from what they were,” Voyles said.

The power plant generates electricity through two gas turbines and uses the exhaust heat from those units to generate steam and produce electricity using a steam turbine.

Officials say the next step will be retiring two more coal-fired units.

Cane Run Unit 7 is already up and running and serving customers.

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