LG&E/KU want in on electric car charging

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Kentucky Utilities prototype electric car charging station

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WTVQ) – Kentucky Utilities Company and Louisville Gas and Electric Company filed requests Friday with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to allow the companies to own and operate electric vehicle charging stations within their two service territories.

While the specific locations have not been selected, each utility is requesting approval to place 10 stations in public access areas such as street parking, parking lots and outdoor areas. Additionally, the utilities are requesting the ability to offer business customers the opportunity to host the charging station as long as they agree to a five-year commitment.

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“In recent years, we have been informally approached by customers and local governments about offering electric vehicle charging stations,” said John P. Malloy, vice president of Customer Services. “The service and rate schedules – currently being developed – will help enable us to meet our customers’ needs, learn more about charging technology and network infrastructure, collect information on the electric vehicle charging market, better gauge and understand customer preferences, and assess the potential market for a broader deployment of charging stations.”

According to the Electric Power Research Institute, more than 15,000 electric vehicles have been registered in the state of Kentucky since 2010. While they represent less than 3 percent of the total number of registered vehicles in Kentucky, the purchase and use of electric vehicles in Kentucky is increasing.

“We realize that, for this number to increase, there must be an investment in charging stations. It is especially important to combat ‘range anxiety’ in which consumers fear the battery range is insufficient to support their driving patterns,” added Malloy.

Currently, there are about 30 public charging stations in Kentucky, 19 of which are in the LG&E and KU service territories. Of those 19, 13 are located at automotive dealerships. Under the proposed filing, the full cost of charging stations, including maintenance, installation, and energy usage, will be borne by those who request the stations or who use the charging service.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.